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2 Questions to Guide Social Media Use of Student Athletes

July 25, 2013 Kevin DeShazo Social Media Education Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

In a recent blog post, I wrote about how social media education is more than just what to tweet and what not to tweet. That it’s about leadership and character development. About helping student-athletes understand the impact of their decisions, both online and off. About giving student-athletes a purpose for using social media well, beyond simply avoiding a meeting with the coach or compliance department. When you strip it all down, for student-athletes (or anybody) to be “successful” on social media, they have to answer two questions:

Who am I?

What do I want to be known for?

That’s it. Those two questions direct and guide not just how you use social media, but how you live your life. Like an athlete, your strength comes from your core. These questions get to the core of who you are, guiding how you approach relationships, your work, your family . Social Media is just one piece of that puzzle. An extension of you.

College is a time where students are trying to figure out the answers to life’s big questions. Sorting out who they are, what they want to do in life, what principles will guide them. They are debating relationships, faith, friends, future plans. It can be a confusing time for some. A time that, in today’s world, can and is playing out online.

During sessions with student-athletes, I ask them to come up with three to four Core Words. Words that define them – or words that they hope define them. That’s the first step to having success online. We discuss privacy, adding value and other ideas but it starts with building a strong core, the foundation of your identity.

Who am I?

What do I want to be known for?

“Success” online looks different for everybody. We all have different goals and reasons for using social media. Regardless of why you use the platforms, the answer to those two questions are still important. The next step is to then look at their social media presence to see if what they are posting online is in sync with what they want to be known for. If not, it’s time to make some changes.

Deep down, we all want to be taken seriously. Even the most immature among us want to be known for more than being immature. While the answers to these questions may change over time, as we grow and mature and goals change, they are still questions that must be answered today. They impact not only what you share online but who you interact with, who you friend/follow, your bio, profile pictures, usernames, etc. Every action and interaction impacts your identity and your reputation.

Your why determines your how.

For student-athletes on social media, it’s important to start with why.


Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletics departments get the most out of their social media efforts, from educating student-athletes and staff to providing an overall strategy. To find out more about us or to join the more than 70 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.

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