Why are the Detroit Tigers on my Twitter Profile?

ADDENDUM: Players featured on my twitter profile thus far: “Sweet” Lou Whitaker, Ozzie Virgil Sr., Larry Doby . . .

This morning I have no voice and my baseball spirit is in mourning. Last night, my wife and I went to watch the Oakland A’s play the Detroit Tigers in, Game #5 of the American League Divisional Championships. Win and go on to play for the American League pennant, lose and go home for the winter.

It was loud and raucous as a playoff game should be, but we lost – and yes, I say “we” because that’s just how it is – and this morning I am a sad, sad, sad boy.

Now before you get all Judgey McJudgerson on me for using up your time to talk about sports — yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s just a game and there are more important things going on in the world. But come on, let a boy be bitter for a few moment about his team losing for the second freaking year in a row, to the same freaking team, and to the same freaking pitcher.

Grrrrrrrrr, that Justin Verlander.

As we discussed this morning as a family, “Justin Verlander is a child of God, but we still hate that guy.”

Yes, these are the theological conversations we have in our home.

For those of you who follow me on twitter, this morning you also saw this tweet.

One of the great joys of interacting in the space where church, community and social media converge has been building up relationships with people around a variety of randomly awesome interests. I have had the pleasure of getting to know new people through conversations that run the gamut of social/cultural import. From in-depth theological discussions, to responses to cultural happenings, to sharing personal projects, to smack-talking over fantasy football to, yes, baseball, I have been enriched by the people whom I have come to know over twitter and other social media locations.

For example — this Fall, as my beloved Oakland Athletics Baseball Club were battling their way into the post-season, I proposed a little wager with Texas Rangers friends, @anglibyerian and @froggent on who would win the Western Division.

The wager: whoever lost would have to change their twitter profile and include other team’s logo for the duration of the winner’s run in the postseason.

High social media stakes, baby. High stakes.

Stop laughing. This is serious stuff ;-)

As it turned out, the Athletics won the West and @anglibyerian and @froggent had to pay up. I will say that when the first profile pics showed up with with Texas Manager, Ron Washington, in his A’s uniform, I was duly impressed and glad they found a way to pay off the bet that would not totally eat away at their baseball souls. Well done!

How happy were they that the A’s lost last night? This happy . . .

So now it’s my turn to pay the piper as I placed the same wager with Tigers fans, @davidwshinn, @cgmama and @bryberg and will have a rotation of Detroit Tigers’ images that I can live with for as long as the Tigers remaining in the postseason.

And yes, it hurts.

But as they say, there’s always next year.

 

When we talk about people on Twitter, should we let them know?

Flickr: mfakheri

A few years back a friend and I had one of those, “Yes, we’re a$$hats!” moment. We were hanging out at an event and – as we tend to too easily do – we started talking about a common acquaintance.

We were not being nasty, but our words were certainly not flattering. We were gossiping.

So of course, being out in public and within earshot of other people, someone says tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me but, X is a friend of mine and . . .”

Craptastic.

No matter how I might have wanted to justify our actions or tell this yahoo to mind his own beeswax, this was just us participating in gossip. We were in public and there is no way that I would say the same things to that person’s face, so in the end, we were totally in the wrong and were called out on it.

And then last month, I starting typing in a tweet about someone else that was not going to be nasty, but it was not going to be flattering. As I did so, I thought to myself, should I include his twitter handle so he knows what I am doing so or am I just going to use his name?

Sidebar — For those of you not on Twitter if someone includes @breyeschow in their tweet, I will be alerted by Twitter, but if it just says “Bruce Reyes-Chow,” unless I specifically search for my last name there is no way that I would ever know that I was mentioned.

For example if someone tweets, “That @breyeschow is an kind of a jerk!” this would show up on my twitter alerts, but if they just tweet, “That Bruce Reyes-Chow is kind of a jerk!” I would be none the wiser and trapse along my merry way believing that everyone loves me ;-)

So here’s the dilemma — Since Twitter, Facebook, etc. are public spaces where people see/hear what we are talking about, is it okay to talk about people without letting them know or has the “Don’t say it online unless you are willing to say it in person” rule lost meaning?

When we talk about people on Twitter, should we let them know?

For my two cents, I think that if you are going to talk about someone in such a public forum, friend or not, you should at least give them a heads up and let them decide how to respond, if at all. I find that this posture helps me to give my words more care AND, even in offering harsh critiques remind myself that every human being is, well . . . a human being.

So what do you think?

And if you plan on tweeting that this is a stupid question, I am @breyeschow on Twitter ;-)


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