In the past, when a coach wanted to talk to a recruit he had to go through a horde of gatekeepers; coaches and parents were unavoidable barriers to direct contact. Now, however, almost every high school student is active on at least one platform of social media. Any coach can send messages directly to recruit. Social media technology allows schools to recruit much more broadly and successfully, and, as a result, the recruiter’s relationship with high school coaches is becoming less vital in the process.
The growth of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have given coaches a window into the life of players outside of football that they did not have before. Many young people have no filter in what they place online, so evaluators are able to view players up close, and see what they are really getting into when they recruit them.
In the past, only the highest-profile powerhouses could recruit nationally because they had the reputation to get a foot in the door across the country. Now, a coach in New Orleans can see a highlight reel from California and send the player a private message in a matter of minutes.
This has been becoming increasingly popular over the last five-years and shows no signs of slowing down. Some people are saying it is an unfair advantage and is ruining the reputation of being a high-school football coach, I personal believe it is a good thing for college football as-well-as social media, and excited to see what the future will bring.
There’s been some backlash over the last couple of months against the idea that the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt were brought on by Twitter or a “Facebook Revolution.” And certainly, it takes a lot more than the 21st century version of a communication system to persuade people to take to the streets and risk harm, imprisonment, or death. But that doesn’t mean social media didn’t play a role. It did. Given the magnitude of grievances in each country, revolt would almost certainly have come eventually. But social media simply made it come faster.
Before Egypt shut off the Internet and mobile phones, before it even started blocking Twitter and Facebook, those tools were used to coordinate and spread the word about the demonstrations that were scheduled for January 25. Without these mass organizing tools, it’s likely that fewer people would have known about the protests, or summoned the kind of courage that’s made possible by knowing you’re not the only one sticking your neck out. Without them, fewer people might have shown up, and the Egyptian authorities might have more easily dispatched them. Chances are, we’d be waking up to today with the skirmishes being nothing more than a fading headline from a time long gone.
Did social media make all this happen? No, of course not. Did it bring everything to a head much sooner than it would have, had Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube not existed? Absolutely. This is only the beginning of this type of uprising, and we can expect to see more like it in the not too distant future