Final week Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Baker Mayfield introduced that he can be leaving social media for the foreseeable future – citing the poisonous atmosphere he had confronted after a tumultuous season. The Heisman Trophy winner, who was chosen by the Browns’ first total within the 2019 NFL Draft, is simply the most recent athlete to throw within the towel relating to social media platforms.
Right now, it’s all too frequent for athletes and celebrities to seek out themselves within the crosshairs from critics – and plenty of instances it may be extraordinarily private. This sort of criticism impacts all individuals on a psychological stage and athletes really feel it as a lot as anybody else.
“It impacts them the identical approach it impacts anybody else,” defined Tom Kannon, DNP, PMHNP-BC, assistant dean of the Online Graduate Nursing and assistant professor at Regis College.
“Fixed criticism can lead to detrimental self-talk, lowered vanity, frustration, irritability,” warned Kannon. “If that continues lengthy sufficient then it may result in despair and anxiousness.”
Whereas very profitable individuals are likely to have good helps and coping mechanisms already established – and that may assist bolster them towards such negativity – if inundated with it lengthy sufficient, it’ll erode even the strongest psyche.
“For some individuals, the criticism can lead to decrease self-appreciation and elevated self-defeating ideas,” added Kannon. “For others, it may probably create synthesis for refocusing and ‘rising to the problem’ to show their critics unsuitable. A big a part of how that goes will depend on the particular person’s view of themselves, their self-concept.”
Many people could wish to consider we do not care what different individuals consider us, however that usually is not the case. For an athlete who’s within the highlight the detrimental feedback might be unimaginable to flee.
“Criticism can have an effect on individuals mentally and behaviorally,” famous Dr. Nathaniel N. Ivers, associate professor and chair, Department of Counseling, Wake Forest University. “It will probably contribute to emotions of despair and anxiousness, in addition to result in decrease vanity. It can also have an effect on how individuals view and relate to others, resembling elevated emotional reactivity in direction of or isolation from others, in addition to elevated defensiveness.”
Social media makes it simpler than ever for followers – and critics alike – to tear down athletes like by no means earlier than. Baker Mayfield noticed the necessity to step again from the dangerous commentary he was being uncovered to on the platforms.
The Schadenfreude Impact
One of many greatest issues in the present day is that social media makes it really easy for people to come back below such private assaults on a public platform.
“There’s a psychological idea referred to as Schadenfreude that means that folks tend to seek out pleasure in studying about, witnessing, or taking part in one other particular person’s troubles or failures,” added Ivers. “Actually, research counsel that people with decrease vanity are likely to expertise better pleasure in witnessing somebody’s humiliation or failures than do people with increased vanity. A number of the vitriol that skilled athletes, politicians, and celebrities face within the media and on social media might be defined by Schadenfreude. People with low vanity are participating in an ill-fated try to bolster their psychological equanimity by knocking another person down.”
Whereas Schadenfreude exists in all relational settings, social media may present individuals unprecedented entry to high-profile individuals.
“It can be crucial that folks shield themselves from poisonous environments that degrade their sense of self value and psychological well-being,” mentioned Ivers. “It could nonetheless harm athletes or excessive profile people to know that folks assume negatively about them and are doubtless speaking about them on social media, however the impact might be lower than if they’re consuming the negativity instantly and always.”
A Celeb, A Model
The place the problem turns into extra difficult – particularly for athletes – is that they’re greater than an individual at instances. They’re a model ambassador, and a part of their livelihood comes from their potential to market merchandise. As social media is used to advertise mentioned manufacturers, it may be troublesome for the athletes to retreat from these platforms.
“Baker Mayfield is a human being, entitled to many freedoms, however he’s additionally an expert athlete and a model,” defined Melissa Davies, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sport Administration at Ohio University.
“He represents his personal model, the Browns, and the NFL, in addition to different corporations he works to endorse,” mentioned Davies. “Every of those partnerships are confirmed through contractual settlement which dictate the exact relationship and duties owed between Mayfield and the group. On the one hand then, Mayfield should think about his personal well-being and that of his household, whereas weighing the contractual agreements and incomes potential he has as a public persona.”
Manufacturers usually pay massive sums to work with skilled athletes, who then endorse their merchandise through promoting of their commercials, print and digital adverts, and on social media. Generally these manufacturers can have athletes seem on their firm social media pages, nonetheless extra generally in the present day, the model can pay the athlete or superstar to submit the commercial or endorsement on the superstar’s social media pages as a type of influencer advertising.
“The manufacturers then acquire the benefit of getting in entrance of the athlete’s massive and focused following,” mentioned Davies. “Whereas these contracts might be profitable to complement athlete’s different streams of earnings, having and fascinating in social media will not be one of many Cleveland Browns or the NFL’s contractual obligations for athletes. It seems then that Mayfield has weighed his personal incomes potential on social media with the chance to cut back pressure in his private life and opted out.”
Time Out – However Will It Assist?
For Mayfield he could tune out of social media, however in the present day it’s unimaginable to flee what is alleged – doubtless much more than making an attempt to keep away from TV or the newspaper. Actually, information of Mayfield’s departure from social media has solely forged him within the highlight once more – the place articles resembling this one now concentrate on the explanations. Even those that could not have adopted soccer could immediately know the troubles he confronted on and off the sector this season.
Nonetheless, departing social media may current some advantages for Mayfield – in addition to others who’re discovering the platforms to be extra detrimental than optimistic.
“Leaving social media can positively have a optimistic influence on the person,” mentioned Kannon. “Having any negativity eliminated out of your life can decrease stress, very similar to the outdated adage ‘out of sight, out of thoughts.’ One of many hardest issues for elite athletes and high-profile individuals to do is to discover a option to go away all of the detrimental feedback behind, since they may nonetheless greater than doubtless nonetheless see it on TV, in newspapers/magazines, and the Web normally not simply social media.”
By taking a break from the social platforms, Mayfield will not face the deluge of negativity.
“(He would possibly) nonetheless concentrate on the criticisms however the profit can be two-fold,” Kannon continued. “One, publicity to the criticism would positively be decreased; two criticisms in newspapers, magazines, information/TV reveals would have an id to associate with the criticism as a substitute of it coming from some anonymous supply which permits the particular person to extra precisely weigh the credulity of the remark.”