Facebook currently has 2 billion monthly active users around the world. So it’s only natural to assume that there is a reasonable portion of footy players on Facebook.
But apparently AFL and NRL players, especially the younger generation, are staying as far away as possible from Mark Zuckerberg’s brain child. And here are the three main reasons why.
1. Friends vs Followers
There’s a major difference between friends and followers. When people follow you on Instagram or Twitter, that only means that they are interested in what you might post in the future. There’s no personal connection involved. No long lost school friend coming out of the cobwebs. And no recently divorced ex-girlfriend insisting that you guys should catch up over drinks.
For people as solicited as AFL and NRL players, the followers-followee relationship is much easier to manage than the awkward and unclear meaning of the words: Facebook friends.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but fan and friend are not the same thing. Footy players love their fans but they love them from a distance. And that distance is called privacy.
2. Text vs Photos
As a young 22 year old footy player who knows that the wrong word on social media could end your career, why would you risk it? That’s exactly why the new generation of players stay away from Facebook and Twitter and feel much more comfortable on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
The photo based platforms are so much easier to use. Just post a photo of your dog or your meal, add a couple hashtags and you’re done. That’s much less risky than voicing your opinions, and you’re still building a public profile that you can eventually monetise if you play your cards right.
As a footy player, keeping the risk factor low on social media is as important as hitting the gym. If you don’t believe me, have a look at this Top 10 Social Media Mistakes in Sports.
3. Mom and dad
If you’re under 30 years old, your parents are most likely on Facebook. And that is a death sentence for your Facebook account whether you play footy or not.
Fortunately for the younger generation, most people over thirty don’t have an Instagram account and barely understand what Snapchat is. So that’s where most people hide their social media activity from their parents and that’s where you’ll find your favourite AFL or NRL rising star.
Footy players on Facebook
Don’t look for your favourite footy players on Facebook. They are not there. They’ll probably join once they retire though. But in the meantime you’ll have to settle for the official pages. Which are most likely run and updated by managers.
by Ed Toussaint – contributor