Monday, April 29, 2013

Social Media, the Student-Athlete and Finding Some Sort of Balance

Let me start off by saying, I realize the humor in posting about this story on a blog.

I've been doing a couple of different stories recently and I've tapped into something I find particularly interesting; social media and the student-athlete.

It sounds like a bad after school special, but let's be honest with ourselves, social media and student-athletes don't always go hand in hand. We are an age and a generation of immediacy. We want people to see all the awesome things we're doing, all the fun we're having and the best way to do that is through social media. Update your status, post a new Tweet, upload a photo to Instagram and suddenly you can show to the entire world just how cool you are.

I tweet. It's part of my job and part of my life. But, there is a fine line between tweeting and over-sharing. Every single thing we do is uploaded to the internet, a great wide web of invisible wires joining people who would otherwise have no idea what we're doing with our lives. So, with all that information out there available to anyone willing to Google our names, doesn't it make sense that eventually some of that might come back to haunt us?

The question of course is, what are the new rules? There have been plenty of stories about officials looking into athletes' social media profiles and forming a brand-new opinion solely base on what they find on the internet. Heck, even the University of Michigan has admitted to "catfishing" its athletes in order to see what they're posting online.

Yes, these are student-athletes, and the key word of course is students, but is there a new limit to the amount of information we want to put out there about ourselves? Do we run the risk of losing a potential scholarship opportunity because we uploaded a particularly boozy picture from last Saturday night? Or can we simply chalk it up to kids being kids and, in fact, the schools and officials are the ones overstepping some sort of unwritten boundary?

This is where you guys come in. I want to know your thoughts, your concerns and your questions about how social media and sports can fit together. Do you worry about what you post online? Do you keep your profiles private or are your Instagram photos available for anyone to like - and possibly judge? There's no easy answer to any of this, but with the "rules" of the world changing every single day, it's important to have some kind of opinion. I want to know what that opinion is.

So, because it's a story about social media, respond here with a comment or e-mail me (lamato@troyrecord.com) or tweet me (@LauraAmato). You've got plenty of options, so think about it and let me know.

3 Comments:

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June 10, 2013 at 11:55 PM 
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June 26, 2013 at 11:37 PM 

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