From the BlogSubscribe Now

Love Each Other – A Powerful Message

You might not agree with everything he’s saying, but this message about love, tolerance, and compassion is worth consuming.

Texting and Driving – Dangerous!

Chris Reimer on the Mark Reardon show

A few months ago, I joined Mark Reardon on KMOX for a discussion on texting and driving. He noted that I posted about the subject on Facebook and foolishly challenged me to a debate.

In all seriousness, I always enjoy going on Mark’s show, and I hope you enjoy the discussion we had. And I must thank him for allowing me to shamelessly plug my upcoming book Happywork, releasing on February 17, 2015.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

A Gay NFL Player? Dale Hansen Says We’re Going to Be Fine

“I don’t understand his world, but I do understand he’s part of mine.”

One Tweet to a Life in Hell – The Justine Sacco Affair

Some people are scared to use social media. It seems too “Wild Wild West” to them. Some of those people are fearful of learning how to do it, some are scared to make a big mistake, and some wish for a simpler time when the definition of “friend” was narrower and “in the flesh.”

As an extrovert, I’ve found my stride in life, so to speak, on social media. The last six years have found me starting a tee company, making many life-long friends, and changing careers. I enjoy expressing myself, learning, having discussions, and entertaining myself on a daily basis.

Someday, I am bound to make a big mistake. I will offend the world at large with an inappropriate photo or tweet. I don’t think this will ever happen, but I should never say “never.” If or when it happens, I hope to have friends coming to my defense. I hope it’s something I can recover from. I hope my family doesn’t bear the brunt. Mostly, I really, really hope it never happens.

I don’t mean to say our lives are not in our control; I firmly believe we are in control of our destiny.

So what happened to Justine Sacco? A PR pro for IAC, she presented the social media community its latest scandal with her insensitive tweet about Africa. While on a plane to said continent, the tweet was blowing up worldwide and she likely knew nothing of it until she landed. Upon disembarking, if her phone was able to grab a cell tower or some wifi, she was undoubtedly slammed with tweets, emails, texts, voicemails, Facebook messages and more. That must have been a bit jarring for her. IAC quickly sacked her.

What should we make of this affair? I always like to dial down to the foundation, to the simplest and most elementary lesson to be learned. This is to say, “What should we do FIRST?” In this case, it’s “BE NICE.” Sorry to keep beating this dead horse, but that’s the first thing we all need to know.

Guys, Justine’s situation is a complicated issue. In reading the countless articles on the affair, I’ve seen the right wing attack the left wing. I’ve seen people make this an age issue, a gender issue, an unemployment issue (how can SHE have a job while I’m unemployed), a race issue, a white guilt issue, and more. You name it; everyone has an angle on this, a prism through which they judge her.

However, if Justine had just remembered rule number one – be nice to others – this would have never happened to her. So what seems complicated is actually quite simple. Be nice!

Through the millennia, since the very advent of the spoken word, we humans have harbored thoughts that we have chosen not to verbally articulate. Justine’s AIDS tweet is the latest lesson on why that’s the case. As I state in the interview I recently did with Mark Reardon on KMOX, most of us have told an offensive joke or two. Some of us have been to comedy clubs and laughed at a comedian saying horrible things. But NO, you can’t say these things on social media. Similarly, you wouldn’t say these things aloud in a crowded coffee shop, on a job interview, on a first date, or at the office water cooler. In those places, in those circumstances, you have to practice restraint.

So that means no off-color jokes about AIDS. No Hitler jokes, no Jewish jokes, no special needs jokes, none of that. You think it’s funny? That’s great – keep it to yourself. You don’t want to offend an entire continent with one tweet!

First and foremost, think of others instead of yourself. Had Justine done that, she might have considered the 1 million Americans living with HIV, or the 30 million worldwide. Let me stake out some brave territory and say AIDS is terrible. Don’t joke about it! Be nice to others.

Be nice!

To listen to my interview with Mark Reardon, HIT PLAY on the second sound file down

Other takes:

1. AdWeek initially reports on the situation.

2. Here are 16 tweets she might now wish to take back. No. 16 is way out there, in my humble opinion.

3. Here’s a robust discussion on my Facebook page about Justine and how long (if at all) we should heap scorn on her.

4. If you read nothing else on this issue, read Roxane Gay’s take on it.

5. Some additional sympathy for Justine’s plight.

6. A friend defends her, saying she’s guilty of not being good at Twitter.

7. The Twitter lynch mob.

Books I’m Recommending Tomorrow at My United Way Seminar

Chris Reimer book recommendations

Tomorrow I’m conducting a social media seminar and Q&A at the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Attendees from United Way-funded organizations will hear me speak about social media, and then will fire several hours of questions at me.

One thing I’ll be recommending off the bat is self-education. When working to understand social media, I have found that practice does make perfect. One hundred and ten thousand tweets later, I do have experience I didn’t before have. However, backing up one step, I’ll want the attendees to be in the right mindset before using social media to say what they have to say.

The books above will be getting a shout out, and I do hope the attendees give these works a chance. I’ve learned so much by taking to heart the messages these authors offered to the world.

Be More Like Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson had never won a British Open. High pressure, I guess. Five strokes back entering the final round, and history shows that he is really good at finishing second in majors. Yet, he smiles while out on the course. He gives his golf ball to a kid in the gallery while walking from 17 to 18. Phil’s reservedly high-fives and fist bumps everyone he can on that walk to 18. It’s the final hole of the final round of a major, and he was two strokes up. Phil stood on the tee box at 18, still with the biggest tee shot of his life ahead of him, and smiled. He showed a little humility and appreciation for the moment.

Tiger yells fuck and goddammit and all other sorts of words after poor shots (knowing there are microphones everywhere), and very rarely smiles. And this comes after his marital troubles, confession, and 2010 news conference where he said, “Character and decency are what really count.” He has 14 majors (which is admittedly no small feat). Phil had four, and now he has five.

I’d rather be Phil.

And, of course, there’s this

Bertrand Russell – Love is Wise, Hatred is Foolish

Listen to the man! Love is wise, and hatred is foolish.

“In this world which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other. We have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way.”

The Reality of Your Life is Always Now

What you truly have, without a doubt, is now. The reality of your life is always now. Do not continually hope to become happy in the future. Make your future arrive now.

Racism Still Exists – ESPN Magazine Article

Well, this article was hard to get through. Italy’s racist soccer thugs are downright cruel to people of color. They hurl both insults and bananas at black players (even the ones that play for their home team). Yes, they throw bananas on the field. Racism is apparently alive and well. Kudos to Wright Thompson for a brilliant piece.

Funny, Balotelli scored a decisive goal for Italy yesterday. I wonder how the thugs feel about this.

Click here to read the (very long) ESPN article.

Love, No Matter What – Wonderful TED Talk by Andrew Solomon

This is a beautifully delivered message from author Andrew Solomon. Like him, I’d like to see everyone treated fairly, the same, without respect to how different the majority might deem them to be. When we discriminate against people because of their race, sex, age or sexual orientation, we are actually stunting the growth of our society. Great people are marginalized, left to wonder where they fit into a world that thinks they’re too different. Are such people even allowed to contribute everything they have to offer to society? When the answer is no, I just think that’s crazy.

Besides the many wars we’ll likely continue to be engaged in (the ones where we use UAVs and tanks and soldiers), I believe this is the greatest fight we as a species have before us.