Right back at ya

The other day in World of Warcraft an Alliance player thought he’d be cute and PvP me. He was a lower level and he wouldn’t have won. Instead he hedged the odds in his favor so he couldn’t lose. He waited until I was in a fight, fighting multiple mobs, then used a spell to pull me off a cliff (meaning I take damage from the fall) so I died with very little effort from him. He received honor for my death.

What he didn’t expect was for me to think, “WTF! This mofo is going DOWN”, resume my body, heal real quick and destroy him. He “really” didn’t expect me to make it a point to kill him every time I saw him. And to tell my friends to destroy him on sight. That one cowardly (but brilliant) move cost him a lot of gold in repair bills (but hell, let’s admit it…one could say it was worth it because what he did was epic). See, if you’re going to receive honor from my death you have to earn it. One day I’ll lose interest and I won’t kill him on sight anymore (I only saw him twice since then…not sure about my friends but they kill Alliance on sight anyway).

One shouldn’t live in fear but one should take a moment to anticipate the reaction or repercussions of what one does.

Many people use their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. to rant, snark, and otherwise express themselves. In many of those writings the writer is sharing an experience, talking about something he/she does or doesn’t like, telling someone off, disagreeing with someone, agreeing with someone only to have others disagree with their opinion…it comes in many flavors. Do you think about how the person or company you’re writing or talking about will take what you’ve said? If you say something behind someone’s back did you think about how he/she will take it if they found out what you said?

Going through sites one of the things I look for is the ability to take criticism and how a person deals with confrontation. Most times it is impossible to tell unless the writer goes through it a lot but that doesn’t stop me from looking. It is easy to sit back with the “shield” of the internet and throw stones criticizing people, many times with no real basis (you know, like facts) to back up what was written. It is very easy to take a “persona” and try to detach yourself from the persona saying the things that could land one in hot water. The common thought process is that the person writing will never see the person being written about, so why not?

Think again.

With conferences, meet ups and most important social networks the ability to “bump into” the person being written about is much greater. A common past time on You Tube is for someone to put a video up complaining about something and asking his/her viewers to leave comments or contact the person he/she is talking about. Voice your opinion! That turns into an avalanche of criticism for the person that made the original video. Did you expect that?

Did you expect the person you talked about behind their back to find out about it?

Did you expect that your public enthusiasm for X could block your company for getting sponsorships from A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I because X is their competitor?

Did you expect your blog entry about skipping work to play Warcraft with your friend (which you put a picture of on your site) would get your friend fired?

Be careful what you say and how you say it yet be true to yourself.