How Student Athletes Use Social Media in 2019

May 8, 2019 Kevin DeShazo Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

We know student-athletes use social media. In 2019, I hope that’s not a surprise to you. But how are they using it? And why? Is it actually as bad for them as everyone makes it out to be? What if it could be use for good?

For the last 9 years, we’ve traveled the country to help them use it with purpose and positivity. We’ve been on more than 210 campuses and educated over 110,000 student-athletes. We’ve equipped them to build their brand intentionally, to use social media to get and build a career, we’ve discussed the impact on their mental health and how to handle cyberbullying, we’ve empowered them to use their voice for something bigger than themselves.

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6 years ago, we decided not just to talk, but to listen. To survey collegiate athletes at every level about their social media use. You can see results from 201320142015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. This year we had over 2300 student-athletes participate. This information is useful for administrators, to help you understand how and why this generation of athletes uses social media, but it is also helpful for us as educators. This data informs how we structure our sessions and messages to student-athletes, in order to be relevant and connect with them in a way that has a true impact. This is how we have become and continue to be the most trusted resource when it comes to educating student-athletes on social media use, and why more than 210 programs have utilized our services in the past 9 years to educate, equip and empower college athletics on social media.

The reality is that there is still a significant need for social media education. And it looks different for this generation of student-athletes than it did the previous generation. They’ve grown up with social media, but that doesn’t mean they understand how and why to use it well. That only comes through intentional education from someone who actually understands and uses social media as well as the mindset and habits of not just college students, but college student-athletes.

Here are the results of our 2019 survey on the social media use of college athletes.

Participants: 2387

Level of competition
NAIA: 5%
D3: 11%
D2: 11%
D1: 73%

Male: 35%
Female: 65%

Facebook
98% have an account
49% say they use it less than they did one year ago
37% check it at least 5 times per day, without posting
98% post less than 5 times per day
94% use it to keep up with friends and family
72% use it for entertainment
37% use it to get updates on news
19% use it for school work
67% have more than 500 Facebook friends
34% have posted something inappropriate (profanity, racial, sexual, drugs/alcohol, violence)
73% utilize Facebook’s privacy settings
86% “like” a brand page on Facebook

Twitter
93% have an account
72% check it more than 5 times per day, without tweeting
43% tweet between 1- 5 times per day
8% tweet more than 10 times per day
43% have more than 1000 followers
72% have a public account
47% use it for entertainment
43% use it to get news updates
27% use it to connect with friends and family
9% have shared personal information on Twitter (phone number, email address, etc)
31% have tweeted (or retweeted) something inappropriate (profanity, racial, sexual, drugs/alcohol, violence)
10% have received hateful/critical tweets from fans
3% have responded to hateful/critical tweets from fans
82% follow a brand on Twitter

Instagram
99% have an account
87% have a private account
60% check it more than 10 times per day, without posting
39% check it between 5 and 10 times per day, without posting
93% post between 1 and 5 times per day
100% use it to keep up with friends and family
78% use it for entertainment
25% use it to get updates on news
15% have posted something inappropriate (profanity, racial, sexual, drugs/alcohol, violence)
21% have a Finstagram (fake/secondary Instagram account)
88% follow a brand on Instagram

Snapchat
93% have an account
70% send more than 10 snaps per day
29% use it to stay updated on news
91% use it for entertainment
87% use it to keep up with friends and family
68% have posted something inappropriate (profanity, racial, sexual, drugs/alcohol, violence)
52% have posted something inappropriate during this last school year
17% have sent snaps to someone they don’t know
67% have received snaps from someone they don’t know
70% have more than 50 friends on Snapchat
64% believe Snapchat is private
11% follow a brand on Snapchat

Which social media platform do you use the most?
Instagram: 44%
Snapchat: 32%
Twitter: 17%
Facebook: 7%

Which social media platform is your favorite?
Instagram: 61%
Snapchat: 23%
Twitter: 13%
Facebook: 3%

In addition to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, what social media platforms do you regularly use?
Facebook Messenger: 81%
Pinterest: 21%
LinkedIn: 52%
Tinder: 27%
VSCO: 25%
TikTok: 5%

80% spend at least 1 hour per day on social media
41% spend more than 2 hours per day on social media
93% said they receive mostly positive comments on social media
88% said overall, social media has a positive impact on their life
53% say they’ve had no social media training
48% say they’ve posted something online they regret
19% have witnessed a teammate being cyber-bullied on social media
28% have checked social media during one of their games
7% have posted to social media during one of their games
41% believe their social media activity is being monitored by their athletics department
19% have been disciplined by a coach or administrator for a social media post
21% have engaged in a romantic relationship online
67% have met someone offline that they first interacted with on social media
35% have used social media to network for a job or internship

Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletics departments get the most out of their social media efforts, from educating and training student-athletes, coaches and administrators, to providing an overall department strategy. To find out more about us or to join the more than 210 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact ustoday.

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