The positives and negatives of Twitter: Exploring how student-athletes use Twitter and respond to critical tweets.

Blair Browning, James Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Twitter has become a popular topic in sport communication research. Little research<br>to date, however, has examined Twitter from the perspective of student-athletes.<br>This research explored how student-athletes at an NCAA Division I university<br>used Twitter and reacted to critical tweets from fans. Semistructured interviews<br>with 20 student-athletes were conducted. Analysis revealed that student-athletes<br>used Twitter in 3 primary ways: keeping in contact, communicating with followers,<br>and accessing information. With respect to critical tweets, student-athletes<br>reported various perceptions about them and diverse strategies for responding<br>to them. The results suggest that Twitter is a beneficial communicative tool for<br>student-athletes but also presents challenges, given the ease with which fans attack<br>them via this social-media platform. Accordingly, athletic departments must be<br>proactive in helping student-athletes use Twitter strategically, particularly in
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-521
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Communication
StatePublished - 2012

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