Social media is the wave of the future, whether we like it or not. I would like to take a few paragraphs to examine how “it” is changing our world and divulge my recommendations for appropriate use from a sport psychology consultant perspective. First, the construction of one’s profile is an intimate process and can provide some insight as to the possible relationship with how an athlete wants to be seen. Does the profile scream athlete and portray a superglued identity of athlete who happens to be person or person who happens to be an athlete? Rather than trying to assess an athlete using a profile, we can use the idea of social media as an analogy to help an athlete (especially the youth) that the social world can influence performance. We all want to be viewed as essentially good or cool, depending on the generation you are referencing.
Next, let us examine how we ourselves should use social medias. In my curiosity, I searched Google for what AASP had to say on the matter. The first thing that pops up is, in fact, AASP’s Facebook page! I immediately “liked” the page and it asked me if I wanted to become a member. One cannot “like” AASP’s Facebook without being a member. In addition, multiple individuals and organizations alike popped up in my searches. So, the use is prevalent but to what extent do we individually foresee as appropriate? I personally, under no circumstance, will friend a client or athlete. I often offer my phone number and e-mail as avenues to make professional contact. This is due to one principle; I have complete control over content in these avenues. Facebook and social media in which other people can post, blog, etc. provide a dangerous opportunity to share information one is not willing to divulge in a professional setting. I want control of what is seen.