“A few hundred years from now, it’s easy to imagine some future society splitting human history in halves: before the internet, and after. Probably nobody is more attuned to the transformational effect the internet has had on society than parents of teenagers today. They grew up on one side of that line. Their kids are growing up on the other.” -Children’s Hospital Colorado
Today practically every student-athlete has access to a smartphone. Does your child have a cellphone? With that cellphone, your child has access to the internet, social media and their peers 24/7. What does that mean for sports, society, your child?
In 2000 the cellphone was becoming popular beyond the workplace and in 2008 smartphones were introduced, almost instantly, they have taken over. Just over 10 years after the internet came to homes, smartphones brought the internet to the fingertips of teens.
With the presence of cellphones and the internet came the addiction to cellphones. If you peek into any practice, or classroom, you can find teammates or friends sitting next to each other texting one another. Social media came to smart phones in 2005, but it was not until 2010 that most people had social media, and since then has taken over. Social media has taken over the lives of children, the world of sports and more.
According to Forbes, “Almost every team, league and sports association has a social media profile on Twitter. From the pros to the minors and from the high school athlete to the retired athlete, social media has been a force in the sports industry landscape.” Sports teams have to keep up with the trends and needs of the industry. Sports fans and players are much more likely to have social media because it enhances their experience of the game. “During 2014 50% of Tweets regarding TV in the United States, a total of 492 million Tweets were are about sports events.”
Social media has impacted sports and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. The key for our student-athletes is learning how to use social media, and cell phones to their benefit. Parents, although you may not feel like social media is a big deal, it is to your children. Open up the conversation with your children.
“Kids can get into trouble with their social media alter-ego when, instead of an extension of real life, it becomes a replacement. It’s hard for teens to understand the bigger implications of their decisions. Even more important than setting limits is helping them understand the structures and parameters around those limits, so they can learn from them”- Children’s Hospital Colorado. The internet is as intimidating to young student-athletes as it is to you, as parents. Helping them navigate through, remember that it is not the whole world, and teach them how to benefit from and use it safely can be a very positive thing.
Student-athletes can use social media to connect with their friends, teammates, team, and more. Soon, coaches will be looking at their social media accounts and using it as a tool to get to know the athlete. Putting out a positive image is so important, from a young age. In the new age, your social media presence becomes who you are, your brand. Student-athletes are encouraged to post consistently, to build their brand. Each post lets the world into a little bit of who you are, and each time you post you leave a fingerprint on the internet world. Be cautious about what you are posting. At Colorado Premier, we give the general guideline: If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see or read this, don’t post it.