I got a message from a college athletic administrator recently, asking about another person who provides social media education/training for student-athletes. After learning that this person had spoken at their conference meetings, he was concerned that he couldn’t find anything about her on Twitter.
This is a topic I’ve pseudo-touched on in the past, but feel it needs to be attacked directly.
Do you need to use social media in order to teach others about social media?
The easy answer is, of course, no. If somebody is going to pay you, you can do whatever you want. It doesn’t mean you know what you are talking about, but clearly neither do those paying you. Who are you to stop them from wasting their money?
Over the last year, a number of states have introduced legislation designed to protect the social media privacy of student-athletes. California, Michigan, New Jersey, Delaware, Arkansas, Utah, New Mexico and Illinois have passed legislation - Illinois, which was passed last week, awaits Governor Quinn’s signature. Legislation is pending in several other states.
As some who educates student-athletes on social media use, I’m a fan of these bills/laws. As Deadspin noted in a number of articles here, here and here, these bills are needed. Companies have been started with the sole purpose of monitoring the social media activity of student-athletes.
Most of them work by way of an app that student-athletes are forced to install on their social media accounts, which then gives said company access to every bit of information on the account - whether or not it is password protected/private information. Email address, phone number, birth date, posts, pictures, videos, friend lists, relationships, calendar of events - all of it.
They don’t need passwords for their app to work. They just need the student-athletes to download/install it.
Yes, it’s as creepy as it sounds. Can you imagine if your 19 year old daughter or son was being forced to allow some stranger to have access to his/her Facebook account? Not good.
Christine Brennan of USA Today recently wrote on the hate that athletes receive on Twitter. Her main argument was that the media and sports fans have made far too much of these rants.
The topic of social media rants against athletes, specifically student-athletes, is something I’ve written about before.
Brennan’s piece, however, misses some serious points.
In discussing Twitter attacks on Andrew Wiggins, the 18 year old basketball phenom who chose this week to play his college basketball at Kansas, she chose to focus on the number of Twitter followers of those attacking Wiggins.
Yesterday I left the office around 3:00. I went home and my boys had built a fort in the living room. We played in the fort, read books, laughed and watched cartoons. On many levels this was a pretty typical afternoon for us.
I’ll be on the road for 6 of the next 9 days, so I try to come home early whenever I am in town.
In all honesty, life is pretty decent at this moment. Work is fun and my company is growing. My wife stays home with the boys while also running a successful photography business. We are blessed.
But it wasn’t always this way.
Out of college I took a job in healthcare staffing with a terrific company. I earned two promotions in two years, served in leadership positions, and was living what is apparently the American Dream. Eventually, I got tired of it. Tired of the chaos and frustration of the corporate world, tired of being treated like a number rather than a human. Truth be told, I felt I was better than where I was. Pride is an ugly thing.