A Qualitative Review of Athletes’ Use of Social Media

Cartwright, L. (2022) A Qualitative Review of Athletes’ Use of Social Media. Undergraduate theses, University of Chichester.

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In today’s population, a high percentage of people have an active social media account including those individuals in the media’s limelight. Wells and Radnofsky (2022) state social media can play an essential part in athletes’ lives, however, they also explain how the use of this service can take a direct toll on their health and wellbeing. This study aims to provide a better understanding of athletes’ use of social media by underpinning the research by applying the uses and gratifications theory (U&G). This will build on existing literature which analyses normal individuals use of social media and provide a direct point of view from the athletes themselves. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with athletes who are either semi-professional or professional in their sport. A thematic analysis was produced to analyse key themes. The study identified six main motives for athletes’ use of social media; three of which are reported to support athletes who use social media and three reasons for those who do not use social media. The three positive reasons for using social media were: social interaction, personal identity, and promotion. The three reasons for not using social media were: abuse, distraction, and age. The U&G assists to justify some of these reasons. For example, media platforms can be used to communicate with fans, the theory classes this activity as social interaction. This study will provide young athletes with an insight into the effects of social media to allow them to make an informed decision on whether they want to use any platforms to promote their sporting talent. It is suggested that future research should focus on exploring female athletes’ use of social media as there is limited evidence available in this area. This may be due to sport still being highly recognised by males, and females being more subject to abuse due to society’s view on women’s appearance.

Publication Type: Theses (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Sport Business and Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: social media, elite athletes, communication, Uses and Gratification Theory, methodology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Student Research > Undergraduate
Depositing User: Angela Roberts
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2022 14:20
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 14:20
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/6551

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