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What does Chris Brown, Luis Suarez and John Terry have in common? The responsibility of the famous

Recent football events involving John Terry and Luis Suarez (separate incidents) have caused a major stir in  football. John Terry was caught on camera shouting racially abusive words towards Anton Ferdinand:

People can easily make out what Terry shouted towards Ferdinand. This incident caused John Terry to be stripped off the England captaincy, and is still being investigated. In a separate incident, Patrice Evra of Manchester United claimed he was also racially abused by Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in their match last year. This resulted in an 8-match suspension for Luis Suarez. However, in Liverpool and United’s match a few weeks ago, Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand during the start of the game, causing the issue to remain unsettled:

Also recently, Chris Brown was slammed after winning a Grammy for the Best R&B Album (F.A.M.E.) and being nominated for both Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, on top of being allowed to perform in the said awards show. People’s anger stems from Brown’s domestic abuse case against Rihanna which occured only a few years ago (disturbing details from official court documents available here).

These incidents highlights the responsibilities of these famous people. They must realize that day in, day out, they are in the public’s eyes. People search for their videos, pictures and the latest news about them. Every action should be calculated and precise because people of all ages from all over the world, thanks to the internet and the media, can know what they are up to. Whether they like it or not, they are role models. I am not saying that we all do everything that these celebrities and sports people do. However, I cannot deny the influence they have towards our choices. Otherwise, why put them in commercials? Terry and Suarez represents not only their teams’ ethos and pride, but also the whole of football. Similarly, Chris Brown represents hiphop and is a part of the whole music business.

What they’ve done is terrible and shouldn’t be done ever again. But I do believe that all of them deserve a second chance. There is no doubt that I am angry with each of them. No one should ever be allowed to beat up another human being, let alone your romantic partner. Nobody should get away with racially abusing someone else, regardless of whether the whole world is watching or not. But we all make mistakes, small or big. Yes, Terry, Suarez and Brown should know that they shouldn’t have done what they have but the damage has been done. I just wish that they have learned from their experiences.

People will always remember what these three have done to tarnish their reputation. It is up to them whether or not they want to win their fans (and the whole world) back and how they will do it. It is also up to us to give them a second chance. People should remember that we have a choice of whether or not we continue watching Terry and Suarez’s games, Brown’s concerts and whether or not we continue buying Brown’s records. I just hope that other celebrities and sports personalities learn from these mistakes.



The Internet…Man’s New Best Friend?

We have come a long way since the internet first appeared many years ago. Thanks to search engines like Google and Yahoo! Search, we can now easily find information about almost anything and everything, from answers to  ‘How to’ questions to deep philosophical questions and debates. It can probably be a substitute to a human teacher!

Social Networking Sites (SNS) have also revolutionized the way in which people, predominantly youngsters up to the age of 35, connect to each other. Such sites are used to send messages via ‘comments’ and through private messaging, which are (in most sites) free of charge. Visits to these sites dominate a youngster’s net-surfing time (see Tancer, 2008). Since most social networking sites allow their users to update their profile pages, users spend a lot of time changing their pictures, status, profile backgrounds, layouts and music. By doing so, they can either be the person they are, or the person they want to be. In effect, SNS give individuals freedom to express themselves and present themselves in ways that only they have control on. SNS also allow people to find long lost friends and create new acquaintances.

Online dating services are also available. These sites provide people the chance to meet potential partners by browsing user profiles. People with social phobias may find these services useful as they don’t have to meet someone unless they are satisfied with that person’s profile. Chatting to potential partners online can save them a lot of money that could have been spent on a potentially horrible first date (which can obviously still happen). Given that there is a well-known risk that criminals could be hunting for their next victim via dating sites and SNS, one can still find these services useful, provided that they use them with caution.

The internet can also give someone respite from personal problems. Websites such as PostSecret.blogspot.com and experienceproject.com give anyone the chance to anonymously write life stories, even personal issues and problems. The internet,  being a non-judgemental ‘listener’, become a ‘friend’ or a ‘safe haven’ for people who have issues.Some websites allow strangers to comment and/or give advice to a person’s problem. Also, by using search engines, one can find information about issues concerning their private lives that can be too shameful to discuss with friends and family.

Even though there are a lot of potential setbacks for using the internet, by looking through the list above, we can see that the internet can be a big help for those who use it properly and with caution.