For Student Athletes on Social Media, It’s Not About Wrong vs Right
We’ve talked before about how social media education for student-athletes isn’t about tweet this, not that. Coming at it from a right or wrong approach is one of the quickest ways to make sure your message goes in one ear and out the other.
Remember the last time you were lectured about what was right and wrong? Odds are you tuned it out quickly. Unfortunately, this is the only message many student-athletes have heard when it comes to social media.
Tweeting profanity? Wrong
Having an opinion on religious, political or societal matters? Wrong
Showing your anger? Wrong
“Is it right or wrong for me to tweet or post this?” When it comes to debating right and wrong, you can always formulate an argument to justify your actions. There’s always a way around “wrong.”
“Nobody’s really offended by cuss words. Besides, it’s how I talk.”
“I have freedom of speech. If somebody’s offended by my opinion, that’s not my problem.”
“Coach recruited me last year and left this year? I have a right to be angry”.
All valid, not inaccurate statements that can justify behavior in a right vs wrong debate. The problem is that we’re asking, and answering, the wrong question.
The question we need to get student-athletes to ask before pressing SEND is, “Is it wise for me to tweet/post this?”
That changes things significantly. You can argue around whether or not something is wrong, but you can’t argue about whether it is a wise or unwise decision.
Given your current situation, and where you want to be in the future, is this a wise decision?
“My words represent my teammates and my school, and knowing that coaches and future employers can see my account, is it wise for me to use profanity online?”
“People, myself included, are passionate in their beliefs and stances. Is it wise for me to weigh in on this topic? Am I furthering the discussion or am I potentially offending and alienating somebody, even unintentionally?”
“I have a right to be angry, but is venting on Twitter about coach leaving really the wise thing to do?”
Let’s move past the idea of our student-athletes making the right decision, and instead focus on getting them to make the wise decision. The wise decision for their now and for their future.
Fieldhouse Media is a firm dedicated to helping student-athletes and coaches use social media in a positive, appropriate way through education and monitoring. To find out more about us or to join the over 65 schools utilizing our services for their athletic department, contact us today.
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