By Steven Melendez/Staff Writer
When it comes to the way millennials use media, the effects that it can have on a person can either be positive or negative, especially when referring to someone within the sports world. Almost every athlete, collegiate or professional has to be extremely cautious with the content they publish through social media and other media outlets.
Athletes are consistently held to a higher standard compared to the average media user. With thousands of fans observing what athletes post or upload, there is a constant eye watching over their actions.
Freshman Randy Gregorio, a chemistry major, said that because fans can become an athlete’s biggest critic on social media, at times athletes will be bombarded with negative reactions.
“Social media gives people more of a platform to talk trash towards an athlete and if an athlete responds to those negative posts, he will be criticized for doing so,” said Gregorio.
Junior and biology major Emanuel Dominguez believes that what an athlete posts on social media can have a direct impact on themselves and also how fans see them.
“Athletes also need to be careful with what personal stuff they post through their social media accounts,” said Dominguez. “Fans can establish a negative persona for the player, if they consistently see the athlete act out of place or post something that wouldn’t reflect their proposed role model image.”
Media can also play a positive role in an athlete’s life, but only if players use it to their advantage. Athletes can use social media as platform to interact with their fans and also with people within the surrounding community. Athletes such as Houston Texan defensive lineman J.J. Watt have managed to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Harvey through his connections with his fans on social media.
Using his Twitter profile, Watt encouraged fans from all-around the world to help send supplies and donations to the victims of the natural disaster. His original goal was $200,000. However after using his networking skills through social media, he managed to go well beyond that mark and has passed $18.5 million in donations.
Anthony Pimentel, a freshman majoring in international business, explained how he feels athletes can be great examples to numerous people and can use their unique status to inspire people.
“People look up to them and as role models they have to be conscious with what they do on-and-off the field and court,” said Pimentel. “Unfortunately in this day-and-age, everyone’s actions are under scrutiny, so one must try their best to maintain a positive image.”
Twitter has been one of the most popular social media platforms for years now. FIU sports and the rest of sports media community are all using the social media outlet to their advantage and have managed to reach and interact with more people.
Plenty of students throughout the university use Twitter frequently and explained that they receive a considerable amount of their information through the social media outlet.
“I like to keep myself up-to-date with everything that is going on,” said physics major and freshman Dylan Jeff. “If I’m not able to watch an event or attend an event, I can use Twitter for updates on those events.”
Others like to use Twitter as a way to interact with other sporting fans and also compare ideas within the sporting community.
“I’ve used Twitter to find out information on the NBA All-Star game,” said Michael Navarro, a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering. “It’s a great way to find out poll results and also interact with fans about the results.”
For this upcoming season, the FIU sports community will be using its Twitter account to provide live updates and broadcasts of all games around FIU. Providing an additional option for those who do not have the chance to go out to support the teams in person.
“On Twitter you’ll find students and others tweeting and retweeting different threads, creating a virtual community for FIU sporting fans to engage with one another,” said freshman Lucas Santana majoring in biology.
Outside of Twitter, FIU sports and other media outlets have frequently been using Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to connect with their fans and also provide content. With millions of people available to connect with through social media, news outlets will continue to use these platforms as a resource.