As high school athletes get closer to graduation and look at colleges, particularly colleges that are interested in offering athletic scholarships, they may be realizing (if they haven't already) that social media is an integral part of the vetting process, like it or not.
My daughter started high school and made her first athletic team there. During the parent meeting, they talked with the athletes about social media, reminding them that what they post online is very public and is representative of who they are, and while they are a school athlete, they are representing the school. They cautioned that inappropriate content could result in disciplinary action.
It was good food for thought, and started a nice conversation between me and my daughter about the importance of using social media responsibly. Teens still don't fully realize the impact it can have on their future.
I came across a Tribune blog post by Edgy Tim, a sports blogger, who talked about this very issue. It discusses the importance of responsible social media, and what recruiters are looking for.
Of course, they are looking at content - pictures from a wild party where drinking is evident sends a message about the athlete. Going further, recruiters are also looking at the pattern of posting.
If a student is posting constantly, at all times of the day and night, it makes one wonder if they have time to study, if all they do is party, etc.
This may not be the case, but the way students are posting comments online can paint a picture of who that person really is, true or not.
From the article: "We just decided this week to stop recruiting a handful of kids we really liked because of different things we saw on Twitter and Instagram," the Big Ten recruiter said. "(Some of the) kids made a visit here and they seemed like great kid(s) in person but kept up a really disturbing pattern; it's something we just won't deal with. We would rather take a chance on another kid."
Right or wrong, it is what it is, and it's something that everyone needs to be aware of, whether you're trying to get a scholarship, just trying to get into the college or your choice, or even if you're an adult looking for your next job.
Social media is a tool that is now being used to get a better sense of who a person is.
This is an excellent reminder to make sure you are representing yourself in the best possible light online - you never know who's watching.