USWNT stars say social media is a double-edged sword

Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

As one of the top soccer players in the world, Sam Mewis enjoys a solid social media following, something the USWNT star has had to get used to.

On the latest episode of the Snacks podcast, Mewis talks with co-host Lynn Williams and teammate Abby Dahlkemper about the pros and cons of having a large online following.

“Social media is such a positive in the sense that it helps us boost our careers, but negative because you can just see everything that people say,” Williams says.

For Dahlkemper, social media ‘likes’ and comments can be difficult to navigate. “I care so much about what people think,” she reveals.

Williams has a similar perspective, saying, “We use social media for our salary… but then at the same time, I don’t want these people to say mean things about me.”

To keep sane, Mewis and Williams say they have limited their time on various apps.

“During the Olympics I deleted my Twitter and I have yet to download it back onto my phone, and I think it’s so healthy,” admits Williams.

With a large platform comes a certain level of responsibility, which Mewis admits to struggling with, especially during the social and racial reckoning spurred in 2020.

“I kept everything so close to my chest and I didn’t want to post anything for a long time because I didn’t know what was appropriate, or if I should be sharing that,” says Mewis. “What if someone doesn’t like that I am sharing this? Is this really valid information? Is this my opinion?”

Mewis says she shied away from posting at all and eventually started to wonder if she was being her true self online.

“I get a lot out of it — obviously, I post sponsored posts,” says Mewis. “I make money from my social media and of course I can use the platform for good.”

Navigating the nuanced relationship to social media is still a challenge for Mewis, Williams, and Dahlkemper, something the three admit to still processing.

“We don’t really talk about it that much and it is kind of a weird identity — how much of yourself do you put out there?” asks Mewis.

Listen to the latest episode of Snacks for the full conversation on social media and mental health.