When the Georgia State men’s basketball team is not doing work on the hardwood, some of the players are letting their fingers go to work on their social media accounts.
Athletes can be careless at times with what they post, but Georgia State Head Coach Ron Hunter seems to trust that his players and staff will use social media to benefit themselves.
“I am completely fine with our coaches and student-athletes being on social media,” Coach Hunter said. “I think it can be a valuable tool in a lot of ways. I have witnessed people utilize social media to do a lot of good things for our society. I have also seen people cost themselves millions of dollars by not using it properly. In either case, we can use the good and bad as learning experiences for how our players can conduct themselves when utilizing it.”
D’Marcus Simonds’ social media experience
Georgia State has a significant player that is a fan-favorite of Twitter. His name is D’Marcus Simonds– also known as TwoSpicee on Twitter.
But what exactly is it about Twitter that Simonds finds so attractive?
“It’s always something going on,” Simonds explained. “There’s always sports on there. I can always go to the NBA account and see what’s going on. They have weird stats on there, so I just really like looking at what they got going on in the athletic world.”
It comes as no surprise that Twitter is considered to be Simonds’ favorite social media site, simply because of the versatility that it provides. It is also worth noting that he finds it to be somewhat beneficial for the athlete that he is.
“It’s given me a lot of motivation,” Simonds said in regards to what he receives from being active on Twitter. “People, you know what I’m saying, will be in your notifications talking crazy sometimes…so it gives me something to think about in the back of my head when they’re speaking on me. It’s like, OK, that’s what they said about me. I’ll prove them wrong.”
It’s not always that Simonds receives negative criticism via Twitter, however. He has credited Twitter for being uplifting at times.
“When you’re having a bad day, and you’re down about something, you can always just get on Twitter, and there’s always constant support,” Simonds said with a smile on his face. “There’s always people out there that are looking to keep you up, to make sure you aren’t down or whatever.”
The attention he receives from fans and followers did not come easy for Simonds. He mentioned that he had to consistently stay active on Twitter while taking a different approach to attracting over 4,000 followers on the social media site.
“Honestly man, I used to try to get people to come to the games, so I would start riots with the other school,” said Simonds in regards to his unique way of gathering followers on Twitter. “I would be like, y’all not gonna beat us, y’all not better than us, we’re gonna kill y’all–stuff like that to start a riot. Then everyone would follow me from the other schools. They would be like ‘Oh, man he’s talking like this?’ “And then they would say something crazy, and it’s extra motivation.”
Devin Mitchell’s social media experience:
Simonds’ teammate Devin Mitchell is also in tune with social media, but instead, he prefers to utilize his Instagram account much more than his Twitter profile.
“Oh yeah, definitely. All your fans, you know, your personal fans can connect with you, students here can connect with you and anybody really,” Mitchell explained.
Mitchell is also aware that there are, both, pros and cons to being extremely active on social media sites, such as Twitter and Instagram.
“I’d say the pros are being able to connect with everybody,” Mitchell said. “Being able to see everything quick. Me, I’m a basketball junkie, so I’m always looking at scores–SunBelt scores.” As for the cons: “You have to watch what you retweet. The song lyrics get a lot of people. You can also see what people say about you that don’t like you, so all of that.”
Willie Clayton’s social media experience:
While his teammates D’Marcus Simonds and Devin Mitchell spend plenty of time logging in to their Twitter and Instagram accounts, Willie Clayton admits that he rarely spends time being on social media.
“I’m so much older than a lot of guys on this team, that I take a different approach when it comes to social media,” Clayton said. “I try not to post a lot of things because it can easily be traced back to you, especially a lot of wild things.”
However, it is not to get confused, Clayton does post on social media sparingly. Nevertheless, his posts tend to have a more special meaning behind them.
“If I do post on social media it’s to post something about my family– something someone said about me that was good,” Clayton said. “Not too much about my everyday lifestyle, that’s not me, I’m too old for that.”