Chris Kluwe could very well be today’s perfect “Renaissance man.”
He is arguably best known for his time in the National Football League, where he was a punter for the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings (he holds most of the team’s punting records) and Oakland Raiders.
He is the bassist for the band ‘Tripping Icarus.‘ He is an avid video game player – his Twitter avatar is a close-up of a miniature World of Warcraft figurine. Speaking of Twitter, he is an avid user of the social media site; as of this writing, he has 177,619 followers. He is even an accomplished author, thanks to his latest book, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.
But, he thrust himself into the national spotlight when he wrote Maryland politician Emmett Burns defending gay marriage (Warning: there is some choice language in the letter). His letter spread through the Internet like wildfire and earned him spots on numerous talk shows, including Ellen and the Colbert Report.
Mr. Kluwe was nice enough to Skype with the Interactive Media class of 2014 last week, giving them advice on how to handle themselves on social media, dealing with the compliments/backlash of something like his letter to Mr. Burns, gaming, activism and, yes, football.
Among the words of wisdom he gave:
- Everything that is posted on the Internet stays there forever. Remember that.
- When using Twitter, read over it at least three times. Once you say something, you cannot take it back.
- Always stay focused.
In addition, he answered a few questions for the Eye on iMedia blog.
1. How exactly did you get started in social media and what forms of it do you use today?
I first got started with Facebook, mainly to play some online games, but stopped being active when it got too annoying with the constant changes to privacy settings and whatnot. Then I began using Twitter at the urging of some friends, who thought I would be perfect for it. Apparently they were right, I guess. Today I mainly use Twitter.
2. What are your favorite and least favorite parts about social media/the new online community?
Favorite parts are the interactions with people that I would have never otherwise gotten the chance to meet or talk to. Least favorite part is the casual ignorance afforded by anonymity – people take advantage of it far too much to say spiteful things.
3. How has social media changed you, if it has at all?
The main way in which social media has changed me is that when I see something funny/interesting, I now think of sharing it with a bunch of other people.
4. What do you think the future of social media/online interactivity/etc. will look like?
Augmented reality glasses (Google Glass is a transition phase) will allow people to share literal real time experiences with each other. This could potentially be very entertaining.
5. What advice would you give people about their social media use?
Make sure that whatever you put out there is something you’re ok with people seeing for the rest of your life. Nothing on the Internet goes away.
6. Anything else you would like to add?
Social media can be used to impart valuable information about a wide range of topics, or it can be used to post cat pics and bowel movements. How you choose to use it is up to you, but we all affect society with our choices.