In college it is normal to constantly be updated on every move one of your “friends” is making just by viewing their Facebook profile. Privacy is a word that few in our generation can fully comprehend now with all of the social networking tools that are available to us.
On Twitter we can literally get an update of your status every few seconds; Facebook can constantly be updated to show new friends being made, relationships starting and ending. However now it is not a matter of just staying connected with peers and family, it is about commenting and having your opinions shown and be heard to individuals. One of the main targets in college? Athletes with a future to go professional.
In a recent post on the Sports Illustrated site by Andy Staples he addresses the problems college athletes face with social networking, mainly Facebook. He suggests a Facebook shut down for eight days to save college football fans from none other than themselves in his post, Please, Facebook: Help shameless recruitniks help themselves.
Has Facebook and other social networking sites gotten to a point where they can now influence behavior to an extreme such as choosing where one goes to play for college or pro? Andy Staples seems to think so, and I agree.
With the absurd comments and posts that have been made to athletes, some as young as high school, show why there is no doubt Facebook could and does have an affect on individuals. C.J. Johnson was being harassed (and that’s putting it mildly) while trying to make a decision on where to attend college for football. According to him, Facebook did play a role in his decision making.
So are these college football fans really helping themselves or are their actions having the exact opposite reaction as to what they intended to have. Well Staples thinks so, and I can’t help but start to wonder that myself. Clearly there is a strong enough influence to sway a player one way or another, however it may not be in the direction you intended it to be.
So fellow college football fans, think twice before posting a comment and think about the real consequences of your social networking.