Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Just Kidding

Just kidding. Or, just joking.

When applied correctly, those two little phrases can be sort of the "apple-Z" of real life. You know, like when you say something over-the-top, you can follow it with a chuckle and a "just kidding," and it can be like it never happened.

It has to be in the right setting. Like in a very small group, for starters.

And what's "apple-Z?" On a Mac, it's the command that undoes whatever the most recent entry on the computer, whatever it was. Again, like it never happened.

You want to know when "just kidding" or "just joking" won't work? On social media.

Once it's out there, it's out there for good. Even if you delete it, somebody probably already took a screen shot of it.

TigerBlog likes to stumble on stories on Twitter that have a practical application in his world, and he did so yesterday, when he read about the Twitter feud between two Major League Soccer teams, the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders.

The crux of the story is that one team made a joke about the other and the other responded. It's about a joke. About, well, poop.

Read it for yourself.

Seattle backed down, deleting its tweet. Portland did not.

The story also refers to a story from the NBA playoffs, when the Houston Rockets tweeted emojis of a gun pointed at a horse in the closing minutes as the Rockets were about to eliminate the Dallas Mavericks. Included was this text: "Shhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon."

The tweet got the team's social media director fired, even though the story says that 1) he was told to be edgy when he was hired and that 2) the team won an award a year ago for having the best Twitter feed.

So what does all this mean for Princeton?

Well, first, maybe a nice Twitter feud with Harvard or Yale or someone else would be fun. As far as TigerBlog knows or can remember, there hasn't been one yet in the Ivy League.

Is that because the league's coaches and athletic communications types are too in tune with the possible downfall to go down that path? TB can't imagine anyone in the league who would get into something like that, for about a hundred reasons.

But hey, it might be fun - at least until everyone got fired, like in the Rockets' example.

It didn't matter that his marching orders were to be edgy. And it didn't matter that he won that award. He was gone.

No offense to the San Francisco startup company for whom he is now marketing director, but he'd probably still rather be working in the NBA. And as he says in the story, he's not even sure what was considered the most offensive part, the unforgivable part. That it was about an animal? That it was mocking a rival?

To date at Princeton, nobody has been fired for something tweeted. No athlete has lost eligibility for the same reason.

Fortunately, around here, most of the tweets will always by nature be about Princeton athletes and their on- and off-field accomplishments, almost all of which are off-the-charts positive.

Like the last few days.

There was a tweet about how Austin Sims of the men's lacrosse team is now one of 30 players remaining - from an original field of almost 500 applicants and 108 who were chosen to tryout - for the United States U-19 team for next summer's World Championships. Hard to go wrong with that one.

And there was one about Ashleigh Johnson's latest victory, this time at the FINA World Championships of water polo in Russia, where she helped the U.S. team to the gold medal.

Johnson's had quite a summer, with gold medals in the Pan Am Games in Toronto and now in Russia, where she was named the MVP. And why not? She made 12 saves, including a stop on a penalty shot in the fourth quarter, as the Americans defeated the Netherlands 5-4 in the championship match.

And about the perfor

So those are the kinds of tweets that are usually sent out around here. They're the kind you want to be sending.

On the other hand, TB cringes at the thought of what could happen. All it takes is hitting the "tweet" button, and it could all be gone for someone. Even for TigerBlog.

He knows that if he tweets the wrong thing, more than a quarter-century of goodwill would be gone in a flash. Without any chance to hit the "just kidding" button.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nelly deftly uses apple-Z in "Hot in Here":
I gotta a friend with a pole in the basement (What?)
I'm just kiddin like Jason (Oh)
Unless you gon' do it.