Social media is growing at an exponentially high rate, millions of people around the world are using it from young children to adults and grandparents… and even coaches and school administrators. Facebook and twitter should be a place where you can express yourself freely however this is no longer the case. Social media sites are a direct reflection of who you are and what you are doing, and coaches and companies know this. Prior to going in for an interview with a company that interviewer has more than likely checked your social media pages out, and now as an athlete the same holds true while a coach is recruiting you. Coaches WILL look at all of your pages and decided if you have the type of CHARACTER that they want on their team. Often times I’ll hear the excuse “my page is private” unfortunately those privacy settings can only go so far to protect you. In today’s day and age there are many ways coaches get around this, making up fake profiles and friend requesting you, technology devices and Google.
Unfortunately Yuri Wright will now be the prime example for failure to realize that social media is a tool more powerful than you can imagine. Over a string of a couple months this top prospect ranked by several as one of the best in his position has not only been expelled from high school but has stopped being recruited by several schools including the loss of his scholarship offer to his dream school the University of Michigan. Why? Because Yuri Wright chose to post sexually and racially inappropriate things on his Twitter and despite his phenomenal athletic ability not even he is above the law. As Coach Bob Chmiel always says “Coaches want an athlete with character, not a character”. Coaches want to be assured that when you put on that Jersey you are a prime representation of not only yourself, but the school and that coach and part of your image does include social media.
Rules to live by on social media
- If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it then DON’T post it
- If you even hesitate for a second to post it ,DON’T, there’s are reason you hesitated
- Make sure your default picture(and all others) are appropriate
- Even if you delete it, it is always going to be there
- Your twitter handle should be appropriate, no crude words, or slang
- Privacy settings only go so far , social media is public
- Respect yourself and respect others
- The laws of the real world still apply in the world of social media, ie; underage drinking is against the law, harassment, hate crimes, cyber bullying
- Is who you are presenting yourself to be online, who you want the world to see you as?