City’s Academy players have been speaking about the importance of using social media responsibly as part of this year’s Safer Internet Day.
Alfie Payne and Zach Dronfield were part of a group of Academy players from the Under-15s to Under-23s who recently took part in a social media workshop organised by the Club to promote positive internet use.
And to mark Safer Internet Day, celebrated globally today, February 5, canaries.co.uk caught up with Alfie and Zach to speak about their experiences and the advice they would give.
Under-23s captain Alfie said: “We are representing the Football Club at all times, so we have to make sure that the things we are posting are responsible and respectable. Before posting something you always need to make sure that it isn’t going to offend anyone, because you are representing the Club and you are representing yourself.
“The Club always supports us with things outside of football as well as in football, so a few weeks back we had a workshop to help with safe internet use to ensure that we all understand what is appropriate for us to be posting. They appreciate that now we are associated to the Club that we will have fans following our social media accounts, so it was good to have that support.”
Under-18s captain Zach added: “You do have to think twice before posting because you have people messaging you or who know you from the Club and you have to be careful because in five years’ time it could come back to bite you.
“The session was good because we were shown some examples of where players hadn’t been so careful and what happened to them, so it was really useful. What you post is always there for other people to use so you just need to think twice.”
The theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day is ‘together for a better internet’, with the event organised annually by the UK Safer Internet Centre. The day is an opportunity to talk to family and friends about the respectful, responsible and creative use of technology.
Alfie said: “Once you put something on the internet it is always going to be there even if you delete it, someone will have taken a screenshot or saved it. It’s just appreciating that once you post something it is going to be there forever, so just make sure before you do it’s appropriate.
“Social media is such a huge thing and if used right it can be a really positive way of interacting with fans and friends. I think it’s important we do highlight that there are dangers if you use it incorrectly, so I think it’s a good day to get people thinking about the issues that there can be, but also to celebrate that it can be a great tool to use.”
Matt Himsworth, founder director at Himsworth Scott, delivered the social media workshop at Norwich and works closely with the Club’s Player Care Department to put together education and mentoring programmes for both the First Team and Academy squads.
He said: "We worked with the players to get them into a mindset when they are online to always look to act in three key ways: be risk averse, respectful and defensive.
"Being risk averse can mean understanding that, when you share a photograph or video, you lose control of it. Being respectful is an expectation of all top professional footballers. Treating people in a way that you would like to be treated, whether in football, in ordinary life, or online.
"And being defensive means keeping as much private and sensitive information as possible offline. Where people share too much personal information online they can leave themselves vulnerable and unsafe."
To find out more about Safer Internet Day, click here.
For more on the work of Himsworth Scott, click here.