#655 – I’m a Tool

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Alycia and I are on our way home from Las Vegas today. Every time I leave Las Vegas I am now reminded of a trip I took at the end of 2010, just a few days before I started The Christian Nerd. On that trip I learned the power of social media and what it’s like to have 380,000 people see something I regretted. Take a look at the post from my old blog that explains why I am indeed a tool.

I was taking a break from blogging until the New Year. Then this morning I sent out this tweet:

@ScottHiga: Adam Schefter sounds like a tool when he says “Matthew Hasselbeck” What is he? Too professional to call the guy Matt? Just sit on it, Potsie

Adam Schefter is an NFL analyst for ESPN. I didn’t know why he was calling him Matthew; I’ve never heard him called Matthew before. Then Adam Schefter replied to me by tweeting this:

@AdamSchefter: RT @ScottHiga Schefter sounds like a tool when he says “Matthew Hasselbeck” Too professional to call the guy Matt? … He prefers Matthew.

Then I had almost 50 people who I don’t know tell me that I’m a tool and that I got totally owned by Adam Schefter.

I couldn’t agree with them more.

I got caught up in the faceless nature of the Internet. If I knew Adam Schefter personally or if he was more to me than a face on the television screen, I wouldn’t have called him a tool and posted it on Twitter. If I knew Adam Schefter personally I would have simply asked why it is he calls him Matthew instead of Matt. I fell prey to the anonymity of the Internet, though, and responded inappropriately and poorly. I thought I was just making a joke that four of my friends would enjoy. I forgot that while Adam Schefter doesn’t know me or care what I think, he probably doesn’t like anonymous attacks any more than I do.

So I apologize to Adam Schefter, even if he never reads this or cares. Regardless of his paying attention, I was still wrong.

Some of those 50 people who responded to me might suggest that I’m only apologizing because I got caught; they would be right. Had Adam Schefter not called me out to his 380,000 followers, life would have continued and I wouldn’t have felt the need to apologize. But because he did, my action has been cast in its proper light and I can see that I was unequivocally wrong. I am sincerely sorry and I look at this as an opportunity to learn from a mistake and not make it again. That’s the nice thing about apologies, even when they fall on no ears, we can still grow from them.

I DM’d Adam Schefter a link to the post and he responded, accepting my apology. I really learned a lot that day about the power of social media. I haven’t been perfect in my use of social media since then. I’ve still sent some tweets that I regretted. But, as I wrote in the post, every mistake is an opportunity to learn, whether they’re made in front of 2 people or 380,000.

What have you learned from your social media gaffes? 


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