Exploring Social Media as a Communication Tool for Student-athletes and their Formators

The Interdisciplinary Journal of Human and Social Studies, Vol.2, issue 2, p.14-35, 2023
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  • Research paper


How does social media contribute to shaping the development of student-athletes? To answer this question, 20 formators, including professors, coaches, and athletic directors from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), San Beda University (SBU), and Philippine Normal University (PNU), were interviewed about their views and opinions on the use of social media as a communication tool in shaping the character of student-athletes. Using Blumler, Gurevitch, and Katz’s (1973) uses and gratifications theory (UGT) as a conceptual framework, this study explored how student-athletes and their formators use social media to meet and satisfy their needs. The theoretical framework of the study was based on the core values of three carefully chosen educational institutions. The interview transcripts were then analyzed using typological analysis in accordance with Hatch (2002)’s protocols. The study revealed that formators at UST, SBU, and PNU use social media to instill positive morals and virtues into student-athletes of strong character. Results also revealed that formators in select institutions use social media to provide human needs in accordance with the UGT typologies of media use (Katz et al., 1973), which are cognitive, affective, personal integrative, integration and social interaction, and escapism. The study’s findings can be used as a foundation for developing modules and policies on social media education that enable social media users to maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks.


Formation, student-athletes, education, social media


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Publication date:

17 December 2023

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