“You will be judged.”

Though more likely the message many would associate with a Sunday sermon, these were the words of Kevin Deshazo of Fieldhouse Media, who spoke on Wednesday to a packed Little Theater audience of AHS students about the impact social media use has on their lives.

“I’m not here to tell you how horrible social media is, or that you shouldn’t use it," Deshazo said. “Rather, I want you to make the most of it as a useful tool.”

Deshazo’s Fieldhouse Media specializes in social media marketing and best practices, but not necessarily marketing in the business promotion sense, although they do that, too. Deshazo’s firm began by coaching individuals on how to best present themselves in the virtual world.

“I get paid to talk about Twitter,” Deshazo said. “Welcome to America in 2015.”

Deshazo’s presentation, “Students and Social Media: Impacting your today and tomorrow,” laid out several startling statistics regarding social media use (the average U.S. high school and college student spends 3.8 hours per day using social media) and ways that people’s misuse has negatively impacted their lives. Deshazo explained numerous instances of college and job applicants being rejected, and scholarships being lost, due to inappropriate information they had postedto their own social media pages.

“You will be judged,” Deshazo said, “for better or for worse. Today, employers don’t care about your résumé; they’re going to look at your Twitter account and your Facebook page and your Instagram page. They’re going to find out who you really are. Unless you’re applying to be something that requires a specialized skill set like a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or accountant, employers hire for culture and character. They can teach you the necessary skills on the job.”

According to Deshazo, smartphone use amongst today’s youth is their primary defining characteristic, and furthermore, social media use produces physiological reactions that effect dopamine levels in the body, Deshazo said. Therefore, users can literally become addicted to the chemical satisfaction provided by receiving the notifications.

“Studies show you check your phone more than 200 times a day,” Deshazo said to the audience of teenagers. “Let’s get something positive out of that time.”

“B.E.S.T.” – the acronym Deshazo used to summarize his approach to using social media in a productive and positive fashion – stands for:

1. Building your core

- Users must define their own identity by determining what they stand for and then create their online presence to accurately depict those values. Ask yourself who you are and what do you want to be known for.

2. Every word matters

-With your posts, are you adding noise, or adding value? Don’t announce what is expected of you, just go to work.

3. Staying positive

-Don’t use public posts to process the negative things happening in your private life

4. Thinking long term

-You will be judged by every word and picture you put online. Who is looking? 85 percent of college admissions officers and 92 percent of employers.

In general, Deshazo said to always be positive, encouraging, and interesting. He also suggests following positive leaders.

“You can use social media as a toy,” he said, “or you can use it as a tool.”

A video of Deshazo’s presentation at AHS is available to students, parents and staff through Echo. Contact Athletic Director Chris Babb (chris.babb@arkadelphiaschools.org) for more information.


Arkadelphia Public Schools serves more than 2,000 students in Clark County, Arkansas, ranging from 6-weeks-old through college- and career-readiness - and is home of the Arkadelphia Promise.

APS News   sean.ruggles@arkadelphiaschools.org