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Affects of a Social Media Presence

Written by Lauren Bannister, Staff Writer

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In the past years, students’ social media presence has increased into being apart of the college recruiting process.

Back in 2014, recruiting coach Jemal Singleton tweeted his opinion about a student athlete he was looking into, but changed his mind after he took a look at certain tweets.

“Had to unfollow/stop recruiting a young man this evening. Still amazed by what recruits tweet/retweet. College coaches are watching.”

But, Singleton is not the only one to express disappointment in dropping students due to their actions on social media. A couple months after Singleton’s revelation about social media, Penn State assistant football coach Herb Hand tweeted his experience.

“Dropped another prospect this AM due to his social media presence … Actually glad I got to see the ‘real’ person before we offered him.”

With the introduction of social media, Twitter in 2006 to be exact, it has become a venting place for everyone. From teenagers to adults, people continually forget what is appropriate to post on social media for the world to see. Without having private profiles, anyone can see what one posts, and let’s not forget, the internet is forever.

“I have spoken to plenty of coaches that have had kids lose interest from college coaches due to Twitter gab1posts,” MHS Coach, Aaron Gabrysch said. “This includes retweets from inappropriate Twitter accounts.”

With teenagers becoming more interactive on social media, it opens up a door to the negatives of the internet. In 2012, The Pew Research company claimed studies showed 81% of online teens use some type of social media, 77% of online teens use Facebook, and 24% of online teens use Twitter. Online teens are not stopping to think before they post. Many practice withholding information, but not enough do.

“I think at times the kids are just ignorant about the implications of what they put on social media,” Gabrysch said.

Student Athletes are not the only ones affecting their life negatively with inappropriate posts though. Every teen who is constantly posting is putting themselves at risk to affect their future careers. Teens need to learn how to not tweet, retweet, like, discuss, or comment on inappropriate and immature topics.

Teenagers are consistently undermining the power of the internet. It seems to be a normal thing to post personal information, locations, and etc.. By sharing more about themselves, teens put themselves more at risk for complications. According to The Pew Research center, in 2012, 91% of teens post a photo of themselves, 71% post their school name, 71% post the city or town where they live, 92% post their real name to the profile they use most often, 84% post their interests, 82% post their birth date, 62% post their relationship status, and 24% post videos of themselves. As these statistics were gathered in 2012, four years later in 2016, one can only assume the percentages have increased due to the world-wide popularity of social media.

Teens, especially online teens, need to begin to refrain from posting such personal and inappropriate stuff on social media. The internet is forever, things simply do not disappear with a click of a “delete” button. To improve futures and grow as people, online students, whether athletes or not, need to focus and think before they post. For example, every time a user posts, every follower can see it. And then, if one is not private, the whole world of twitter can view it. It is better to think before you post to ensure people get the right impression of you, and you positively affect your future. So from the saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all,” students should practice, “if you don’t have anything appropriate to post, don’t post it at all.”

“[Social media] can absolutely affect their future,” Gabrysch said. “Social media use is acceptable but common sense is very important. As a general rule, a student should assume that coaches are reading all tweets and retweets.”

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Affects of a Social Media Presence