It was unprovoked. It was surprising. It was a phenomenon of the social media era.
I was (sorta) minding my own business, watching Monday Night Football with some friends. As I am wont to do, I checked my twitter feed during one of the commercial time outs. I saw something fairly innocent - a little discussion (if you can call comments in bits of less than 140 characters a discussion) between a sportswriter and a fan. The topic? The assertion that Alabama fans did not even think about the SEC Championship until after the loss to Texas A&M last Saturday.
Well, I knew this to be untrue - at least for me. While I focus on the prize from the top down (national first, then SEC, etc.), I always have and always will consider winning the conference to be a big deal. So I tweeted, simply...."I did."
What a firestorm. The fan in the exchange I saw attacked me immediately. He checked my twitter feed (incorrectly referring to it as a timeline - it's not facebook, dude!) and noted that I had a large number of tweets with the hashtag #roadto15.
Guilty as charged. As I said, I want my friends to know that Alabama football has high goals. But if you were around when I talk football with friends and family, you would know I'm alot more complicated than that. But he judged me - totally - based a series of tweets.
Problems with that? Well, let's see. In such short bites, it will be shallow. It is easy to manipulate your image. No, dude, you cannot tell what's important to me from twitter.
Or can you?
This got me thinking about alot more than football. People will judge what's important to me by the topics I choose to discuss on twitter, facebook, and this blog. It paints a picture.
But more than that, there are indicators that predate social media. Indicators that reveal what's inside. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21) He also pointed out that good trees produce good fruit and vice versa.
In Batman Begins, Rachel Dawes made a profound statement to her childhood friend and crush Bruce Wayne. She said, "Deep down you may still be that same great kid you used to be. But it's not who you are underneath; it's what you do that defines you." Well, I don't think the two can be divorced from each other. She is right, it is what you do. But it's what you do because what you do reveals what you really are.
So I have to ask myself: How do I spend my money? How do I spend my time? What do I talk about a lot? What do I pray about? Those are things I do, and they define me. Because they reveal what's underneath.
So yeah. Maybe the #roadto15 hashtag did reveal a bias in my priorities as a fan (although I still maintain it's a caricature). That's all the dude could see, so it's all he had to go by. And so it goes...
with social media and with life.