For the first time, most young athletes who are either beginning their careers or early in their careers had social media in their early teens. Think about that, players in their early to mid twenties have had an online presence for so long, there is tangible documentation of how they thought and acted throughout their adolescent years.
Since social media has become an inevitable factor in our daily lives, the importance of checking your social media content annually is more important than ever before. We are (hopefully) not the same person we are today as we were in our early teens. We most likely don't have the same mindsets, same goals, or even the same personalities. If all of this is true, then why would you want your social media to reflect thoughts and opinions you do not hold anymore?
The biggest question you should be asking yourself is: does my social media reflect who I am presently? If the answer is no, than you should immediately be taking steps to clean out old posts, pictures, likes and comments which do not reflect who your presently and the values you define yourself with. For athletes especially, this is an important task for ensuring fans and those who look up to you know who you are presently. In order to successfully do this, we suggest recapping your social media at least once a year and cleaning out any content which does not reflect who you are presently.
Another important aspect of social media etiquette is to not spew negative thoughts, comments, shares or opinions on your social media. Most of us speak negatively when we are upset or angry, often in a heat of the moment situation. Think before you post. While posting has become a sort of journal for many, a medium in which we can share every thought which pops into our heads, it is important to think about the impact a post may have the next day, week, or year. While it can be so easy to jump online when something upsets you, take a moment to think about if that thought falls into one of the values you align yourself with. Doing this will not only keep your brand consistent, but it will prevent you from having to jump on the defensive when those posts may be brought to light.
Lastly, keeping your content consistent means changing your social as you change. We are always growing, evolving our thoughts; as this occurs, so should your social media platforms. Since athletes are typically seen as influencers, if one of your values or opinions changes, it is important to make sure your social media reflects this change too. Whether we want to believe it or not, people will search through your social media including years past. It is hard to display and preach a consistent message if you have conflicting content.
Overall, whether you are an athlete or not, it is important to reflect on who you are and what values define you as a person. Change your social media as you and your values shift. Cleaning out your social media at least once a year will help you present theses values and show a consistent message. Don't spew negativity online. Think about the impact of your posts before you post them. It is never a good idea to post when you are feeling something in the moment. Make sure your posts reflect who you are presently and what you value. Most people don't know who you are outside of social media, which is why maintaining a present and true representation of yourself on social media is essential for representing your brand.