Managing your online reputation as a sports celebrity.
Being in the public eye as a sports celebrity in today’s hyper connected world can come with both applause and backlash, support and discouragement. Many athletes harness their social media presence and leverage their celebrity status for good to promote social causes, like the TELUS Stamp of a Champ Program. Rob Maver, punter for the Calgary Stampeders, is a TELUS Wise ambassador and volunteers to educate youth on keeping their digital footprint clean and rising above cyberbullying.
We interviewed Rob on how he manages his online presence, balances screen time and responds to cyberbullying in today’s digital world.
How do you manage your online reputation?
I’m cognizant that my online reputation reflects who I am as a person. All of the posts and comments on my social platforms are done so with this in mind. I also use my online platforms to support my charitable and business ventures.
What does your digital footprint mean to you?
In today’s world, your digital footprint is important. Before people even meet you, they can form an opinion of you through your social platforms and a Google search. Many employers now use this as a screening method for candidates. On the plus side, your digital footprint is a great way to communicate who are you as a person, what you believe in, and ways that you support your community.
Cyberbullying is a growing, troubling issue with one million kids each month reporting that they’ve experienced it. To help drive awareness and prevention, TELUS launched the #EndBullying campaign in May 2018. We asked Rob about his experience with cruel behaviour online.
Have you ever experienced cyberbullying?
Several times – often from opposing fans. It’s important for those experiencing cyberbullying to know that these people are hiding behind a keyboard or a phone. If you were with said bully in person it’s very likely this bullying would not take place. That helps put things into perspective.
If you were to witness cyberbullying, how would you respond?
Ask the person why it is necessary to bully. What does this achieve? And for those being bullied, I remind them no courage is required to engage in cyberbullying, and that usually softens the blow.
These days we hear a lot about the importance of youth balancing screen time to allow for other activities like playing a sport, taking part in an extracurricular activity or simply spending time with friends and family.
What do you do to balance healthy screen time?
I’m mindful of what I am doing with my time. If I’m with someone in person, I prioritize the person I’m with rather than the person in my phone (barring emergency). It’s important to have priorities and to be present where you are physically.
Finally, what advice do you have for youth growing up in an online world?
Be aware of what negative online behaviour can do to your reputation, your safety, and your family. The internet is a tremendous resource if used properly. Focus on proper online conduct so you’re able to get the most from it.