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Stand Up and Be Heard

Thoughts of a hardcore hoops junkie

  1. Thought For the Day

    "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt, former President of the United States (1910)

    (found in an article about Miley "Hannah Montana" Cyrus' new tattoo, of all places)

    Updated 07-12-2012 at 10:48 AM by 5FootCarrot

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  2. Check yo'self before you wreck yo'self

    Don Allado - who is as far removed from being an Ateneo Blue Eagle as you could possibly get :-p but I'm going to write about him, anyway - has landed himself in some very hot water following a couple of Tweets about what I understand to be an alleged policy of game-rigging in the PBA. It seems that he cooled down since he made those posts, because he has since deleted them, retracted his statements, and publicly apologized to the league. Unfortunately, the damage has been done, and Mr. Allado has as of this writing been meted a fine of P0.5 million and a conference-long suspension.

    I'm not at all qualified to comment on whether or not he was telling the truth. Whether or not there really is something rotten in the state of the PBA - and it would be very serious business indeed if there were - is not the focus of this post. This post is all about why you should be careful what you do or say online or in public, because your big mouth just might come back to bite you on the patootie.

    Almost every day, I come across articles online about this or that public figure (and professional athletes figure very prominently in the mix) drawing flak for some ill-advised remark that would then require damage control. Or about how that naughty photo on Facebook just might cause you, the ordinary job-seeker, a job offer. And, of course, years of posting and modding on blogs and online fora have also taught me - from my own mistakes as well as from other people's - how important it is to watch what you say and how you say it.

    It's clear from all of those things I mentioned that social networking is still a new thing, even after all these years, and we still need to figure out how to use it properly. The Internet makes it very easy for anyone to gain an audience, so it is clearly very useful for people who are very upset and want to vent to any like-minded individuals who might be out there (as I imagine Mr. Allado was, and intended to do, when he posted those Tweets). Unfortunately, the Internet also makes it easy for this convenient audience to know when someone makes a mistake, and virtually impossible to 100% take back anything that might have been said wrong and/or misinterpreted. Therefore, so long as the Internet exists, there will always be a risk that someone out there will come across that Tweet/photo/post/whatever, and think you are stupid/ugly/racist/homophobic/whatever even if you are probably a decent person in real life. Even if you hide behind a username, as I do, you are accountable for everything you post online (and allow to be posted in connection to you).

    Add to this the fact that Mr. Allado is a public figure, which makes his audience much bigger and therefore places him under closer scrutiny than your average dude on the street. Furthermore, he is a prominent professional athlete and thus represents a team, a community, a league, and all the people connected to these entities (who now have to start everything they say with a disclaimer that Mr. Allado's sentiments do not necessarily reflect their own, or that of their organization*).

    (The situations are not the same, but this incident reminds me of the 2010 brouhaha when Rabeh Al-Hussaini publicly voiced his disappointment about not being drafted first by the PBA. I'm not saying he didn't have any right to be disappointed, but the incident did not make him look good and could have been a liability, especially so early in his pro career. That really affected me, because I was job-hunting at the time - and is also why I read all those articles about how poor Netiquette can hurt your job prospects. I'm also reminded of Jai Reyes Tweeting about game-fixing in the ABL, which he also retracted and apologized for. And chances are I'll still find articles about these things somewhere, if I wasn't too lazy to do so.)

    You take a big risk whenever you publicly mouth off about your employer - and being a celebrity is just like any other job. If you have a legitimate concern, then act in a manner that will get you taken seriously - and it's probably in your best interests to be discreet. Otherwise, you're going to have to find more constructive ways of venting your frustrations. (I hear Bejeweled is great for relieving stress.)

    Someone once described the Internet - or maybe just the forum where this statement was posted - as a place where you could just kick back and fling crap around. (That's not a direct quote, but I clearly remember the "crap" part.) Ideally, the Internet is indeed a place where people are welcome to learn and have fun, but crap-flinging is for less evolved creatures.

    And just in case anyone is thinking about accusing me of flinging crap around, let me clarify that I am not comparing Mr. Allado to a less evolved creature. I've tried my best to see things from his side, and I like to believe that his public expressions of regret ...

    Updated 07-06-2012 at 07:48 AM by 5FootCarrot

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