Social media is one of the best and worst things ever to come into existence. It is a great tool for so many different avenues, if one knows how to use it properly. The problem is most do not know how to use it properly and therefore can be more harmful than good. The main components and some suggestions for dos and do nots would be when it comes to posting statuses, photos, or hash tagging.
Statuses are most often times indicative of the type of person one is. If a person is constantly posting about how life sucks and nothing ever goes right; the perception is going to be that the person is negative and will suck the life out of everyone around them. No coach, boss, or anyone else needs that around.
Instead, make sure to post about what a great weekend one had out on the ball field, or about being a great teammate. Post about the latest accomplishment one had at school. Post about anything that is positive in one's life.
Also, when posting, make one sound like an educated person. There is nothing worse than reading a bunch of profanity and misspellings, poor punctuation, and abbreviations for everything. Start putting it out to the world that one is an educated individual who can think of other adjectives than profanities, knows the difference between the yours and the theres, and start writing things out. It might take an extra effort to type out, "for" or "two," but it is better than trying to decode every word that is on a post, which can sometimes lead to confusion or misrepresentation for lack of knowing what everything stands for.
Start to find different ways to describe things. Use words one has never used before. Then when it is all said and done, use spell check!!
Another misrepresentation would be in photos that are posted online. Every picture that one takes and tags another person in, most likely can be viewed by someone out there. There is no reason to be posting underage drinking pictures, pictures where it looks like one is partying all the time, too revealing pictures, and the list goes on. Nothing about one's photos should deter a coach from saying "yes" to having one on the team. Perception is reality folks, so if there is a picture where alcohol is in the background and everyone has a red cup in it; most would assume one is drinking, just due to association. Coaches have enough problems to deal with when the players get to college, they do not need any other liabilities prior to a kid getting on campus.
Post pictures of family, friends, wins, losses. Post about team get togethers. Post pictures of oneself in a positive light. Pictures can capture a million memories, make sure to get the good ones!
Along with these pictures, comes hash tags. Be conscious of what hash tags one places on statuses or pictures because those images and phrases are automatically linked to a group of hash tags now. Any inappropriate tags from one's posts will lead directly back. Again, this is just a poor reflection of what, in reality, might not be so.
Get a grip on what is being put out there for the world to see and the perception it allows to be portrayed. Do not let one be denied a spot on a team, a scholarship, or any future plans because of the lack of control one has over social media. It is a real life thing and a place where most can do a background check prior to ever meeting or speaking to a prospect. If it is not under control now, go and edit it and get it under control. It is never to late to change the perception one gives the world!