@djakes - Forgive Us, For We Sometimes Forget To Think

I love golf. Yes, I play - if you choose to call what I do on the course 'play' - but I also think golf is unique among spectator sports. How many other athletic events do you know of that allow spectators to literally walk within feet of their favorite stars? Yes, fans of all ages are welcome to pay the fare, walk the course, and literally listen to Tiger sweat as he smashes the ball farther than humanly possible.

And then it happens.

"You! Striped shirt. Out!"

Meanwhile, the remaining privileged are left wondering, "What did that moron do to rattle Tiger's cage?"

As it turns out, ed-tech, while hopefully not a spectator's sport, is actually exactly like golf. In our field, if we play our cards right from the outset, we're literally able to rub shoulders with many of the great ones - think: NECC and other conferences, EduBloggerCon, and even (at times) Twitter. I am extremely grateful for the many interactions I've been able to have with many I consider to be ed-tech stars.

It must be remembered, however, that there are definite lines that should not be crossed, behaviors that are not acceptable, and actions that will do little more than rattle the tiger's cage - even (and especially) in relation to our interactions with others - regardless of their apparent status on our personal Greatness Meter.

And Twitter is no exception.

I think that Jennifer Wagner's timely post about her Twitter confusion sums up the feelings of many of us out there. Twitter, while still in its infantile stages, can admittedly be a little confusing. At times one can feel so close to other network members - and yet betrayed (or fooled) by the shallowness of those minuscule 140 characters.

I guess I feel for David Jakes the most. His tweets have highlighted my Twitter experience and his notable recent drop-off has left me hungering for a plate of Pot Roast Nachos. So @djakes, if there's anything that I've ever said or done to offend you in our Twitterspondence, I apologize now. You're a definite ed-tech star in my book, one of the great thinkers of our time, and one of the few great ones that I know who has actually been willing to mingle with the minions (this list highlights a few others, some willing, some - probably understandably - not).

On behalf of the rest of the striped-shirted morons out there, however, I suppose I should equally remind all online participants of one important thing, burned into the brain of every public high school teacher: When everyone participates and everyone contributes, at times you're bound to have a few cage-rattling experiences. Consequently, here's my advice in dealing with inappropriate online interactions. Four easy steps, for what it's worth:

  1. Deal with the morons one at a time.
  2. Be swift and sharp in your punishment (The block feature in Twitter & Skype may prove effective).
  3. Follow all punishments with an increase in love - extremely important.
  4. And get back in the game - you're two strokes in the lead and it's still your turn.
To conclude, lest you're accused of being a cage-rattling striped-shirted moron:
  • Please think before you act.
  • Be considerate of others' space.
  • And never forget that the person on the other end of that tweet is real.


Image Source (taken by none other than a spectator) - 1

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