"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." - Oscar Wilde
Currently, the 2 most prominent forces in my life are: the Internet, and my men's league hockey team. Between the two, there are some major differences in the realm of anonymity.
There is a thought leader in the sales world whom I follow closely and have a personal relationship with. He sometimes describes himself as abrasive and "not likable". He frequently comments on blog posts and responds to content in a voice which aims to disrupt the status quo and force readers to self-asses their personal thoughts and beliefs. I'm sure he'd admit there is some entertainment/shock-value mixed in, but as a whole, he is comfortable with his voice/message, and though such efforts, has become well-known (and respected) within the sales community.
I wonder if he would still have been able to gain this respect as a hockey player? Would this type of behavior be sustainable during a hockey game?
Ice hockey is a fast-paced, physical game (just ask ESPN broadcaster, John Buccigross). Because of the emotional nature of the sport, sometimes players take liberties with opponents who might not be as strong physically, or as quick witted mentally. Policing the game, there is an underlying "code" which implies players must be held accountable for their words and actions. Fighting is legal and pugilism within the game has maintained a consistent place at both the amateur and professional levels for over 100+ years.
Whenever you disagree with someone, you have the option of letting them know. If they don't agree with your opinion, they have the option to respond. That in itself is the definition of conflict. In hockey, based on the code, if I choose to voice my opinion, I must be willing to back up my words with actions. If a player insults an opposing player, he will most likely be challenged to a fight which he must accept. If he does not accept, he will be deemed a coward and he will lose credibility and respect from both his opponents and teammates.
The internet doesn't work this way. If you insult someone online, there's no need to answer for it. I once heard a comedian question what would happen if with every tweet, comment, and blog post there was an associated phone number, email, and home address of the author listed. Would people be more mindful of their words if with every comment came with the potential for a physical response?
The Jimmy Kimmel show has a segment called "Mean Tweets" where celebrities read aloud insulting things that were tweeted about them. I'm sure most of the time, the writer of the insulting tweet never thought the celebrity they were referencing would ever see the message. In order for the bit to work, they display the handle of the tweets' author for the whole world to see, removing the anonymity.
I wonder if these once anonymous authors feel any regret when their tweets are read aloud on national television by the person they were insulting. If nothing else, I bet they wish they had been more clever. Most of the humor comes from how trite and unimaginative the insults are.
What incentives someone to publish a "mean tweet" about someone they've never met in person?
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?"
The eagle answered: "Sure , why not."
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.
Cool blog post inspired by one of my fortune cookies:
"Fear and desire--two sides of the same coin."
The photo for today's fortune came from Brian Moseley of Boston, MA. Brian is a Channel Account Executive at HubSpot, and a former professional hockey player. I met Brian face to face a few days ago at the incredible Hubspot Inbound conference, to discuss a more formal partnership with CommCreative. I encourage you to follow him on Twitter:@bmose14
"We fear what we don't understand. When you grab your fears by the neck tie, and look them in the face, they shrink, they cower, and they can even disappear. Admitting, facing, and overcoming fear also brings clarity. Whether it be a difficult business decision, a risky career move, or any of the hundreds of phobias in the list, you must face your fears in order to see a clear path forward. When your roadblocks have been removed, you become free to move forward and more readily prepared to face your next challenge. As it says in today's fortune, "There is no fear for the one whose thought is not confused.""
"The thing is, we're not doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) anymore, we're doing Website Optimization for people - the search engines will reward us for giving people the best possible experience..." - Brett Dixon (@dpomuk) via http://bit.ly/13nhhEc
Some things I'm in to...
Aspiring Yacht Week Skipper