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Social networking has revolutionised the way we communicate with each other. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter provide modern day athletes with new and fun ways to communicate. Some benefits include:

 

  • Regularly communicating with fans and sponsors
  • Creating a ‘persona’ to build a profile and increase fans
  • Creating online communities to network with other athletes
  • Tracking the progress of rival competitors

 

There are, however, downfalls to the social networking age. Sponsorship potential and image are at risk from inappropriate Facebook and Twitter behaviour. To avoid that happening to you consider the following:

 

1. Make your profile secure as possible

 

Decide who you want to see your profile and restrict access to them. Don’t accept random friend requests unless you know the person making the request. Being friends with only people you know, significantly reduces the chance of your private information getting into the wrong hands.

 

2. Remove any contentious pictures

 

Remove pictures which could be damaging to your image. They may seem harmless to you but others may interpret them in a different way. If your privacy settings are poor then other people can take copies of your pictures without the need for your permission. As an athlete always consider your reputation.

 

3. Be sensible with status updates

 

Status updates form an integral part of social networking sites but make sure you don’t write anything controversial, rude or distasteful. Otherwise you could find yourself at the centre of a story that attracts all the wrong type of publicity.

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