Do You Know What You’re Retweeting?

I’m thinking about retweeting today.

Let me rephrase that, because I’m not looking to repeat my day and I’m not planning on using Twitter to send out links to my day over and over again.

Rather, on this day, I have retweeting on my mind.

I’m just back from a Skype Chat/interview with the lovely proprietrixes of Freak Revolution, Kyeli and Pace. During one of our many tangents, we discussed retweeting and whether or not people are retweeting because they appreciate the Tweet and what it stands for, or if they’re just echoing their favorite guru.

Do You Read Before You Tweet?

There are times when I’ll throw out a link to my blog and receive instantaneous retweets. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the support of the FWJ community, and don’t know if I’ll ever be able to repay everyone all for kindnesses shown to me and this blog throughout the years. However sometimes I think, “hey, did you even read that? You may like the headline, but hate the content!

It makes me feel good when people retweet my stuff, but I always hope they read the post first. I also hope the post will lead to a discussion and not just a tweet for the sake of a tweet. I look at it this way, when I share a link, it’s an endorsement. It’s telling my friends and followers I found something worth reading and discussing.

What if you retweet one of my posts because it has a kickass headline, but you don’t quite agree with the content? You have to read to know.

Again, Do You Read Before You Tweet?

Something else I notice on Twitter is how many people will argue about a tweeted or retweeted link, but it’s apparent they didn’t read the article or blog posts. It happens with some of my posts now and again. Someone will disagree with something I wrote or say something unpleasant and it’s apparent that person didn’t take the time to read it, or else he or she would have a completely different point of view.

I think sometimes we feel we know everything we need to know just by reading a headline. Or maybe we feel a blog post or article says something important because a favorite blogger or social media enthusiast tweeted a link. I often wonder if we (collectively) share links and retweets to things simply because we like the people tweeting them. I also wonder if we disagree with certain bloggers if only to disagree.

This post isn’t to say we shouldn’t retweet or support our favorite bloggers and authors because you know I’m all about the love. It’s only to wonder if we’re reading everything we support (if that makes sense?).

I hope you like what your favorite bloggers write, but I also hope you’re reading what they write before you offer endorsement.

What are your thoughts? Are too many people on the social networks blindly following and retweeting without knowing what they’re putting out there? Are we acting to headlines without reading the actual blog posts or articles?






8 responses
  1. Pace Smith Avatar

    I remember this one time I retweeted a Chris Brogan article without reading it, and it turned out to be about murdering puppies. Or maybe it wasn’t really; I didn’t bother to read the link that said it was about murdering puppies. (;
    .-= Pace Smith´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  2. Chris Anthony Avatar

    “…when I share a link, it’s an endorsement. It’s telling my friends and followers I found something worth reading and discussing.”

    But from a different perspective: When I share a link, it’s because I believe it’s worth looking at. In that sense, it can be an endorsement either of the content or of the person who created the content behind the link. When, for example, Crystal tweets about a new post on her blog, I feel comfortable retweeting it sight unseen. I trust that Crystal will provide content that’s worth looking at, even if I don’t agree with it. I trust Crystal not to post about murdering puppies, to co-opt Pace’s example. Yes, this can burn me if Crystal suddenly decides to become a cannibal Scientologist (I do not mean this to imply that all Scientologists are cannibals) and post about it. But I have faith that she won’t. And if I do get burned, I’ll stop retweeting her new blog posts without reading them first.

    In other words, I would rather my retweets say “I believe that this content is worthwhile” rather than “I agree with every word in this content”.
    .-= Chris Anthony´s last blog ..The Persistence of Memory =-.

    1. Todd Rutherford Avatar

      I agree with Chris. I retweet everything Deborah Ng and several others post because I have read enough of previous posts to trust they offer my followers posts worth reading even if I haven’t had the time to vet them.

      1. Deb Ng Avatar

        Chris – That’s a good point that you’re not endorsing the article or blog post but rather the Tweeter. I also agree that I don’t believe in agreeable comments just for the sake agreeing – I like to see discussions stem from my blog posts – and others. However, I sometimes see people blindly Tweeting even though I know those people who absolutely disagree with the content. That’s when I prefer a little commentary with a RT… but that’s my preference.

        Todd – I’ll do my best not to let you down and your support means more than you know. Thank you so much.

        As always, I appreciate another perspective.

  3. porcelaine Avatar

    I’ve wondered the same thing myself. I receive retweets and my common sense suggests that the person never read the piece they’re referencing.

  4. Russ Bastable Avatar

    I am guessing you probably write pretty good headlines if people are arguing without even reading the article!

    I think some people tweet a link without reading if the source is trusted. I almost always read the article first, or at least favorite it and verify that the link works properly, for exactly the reason you stated! Tweet love is awesome, but a writer wants to be read!
    .-= Russ Bastable´s last blog ..Chess: Then and Now =-.

  5. NikiK Avatar

    I always read first what I am retweeting, never rely on an (attractive) heading alone. Sometimes headings have nothing at all to do with the subject of the article or post, they are just attention-getters. And I have to agree with Chris, I retweet things that are worth looking at, I don’t have to be in agreement with the writer’s view all the time.

  6. Tim Baran Avatar

    I never retweet a link that I haven’t read or at least scanned, no matter who it’s from. It builds trust. In fact, I’ve occasionally refused retweet requests – politely, of course 🙂

    But that doesn’t mean it’s the right way or the only way. However, I’m more likely to click on a link from someone who I know consistently reads the article they retweet and whose judgment I trust or appreciate.

    Good question and post!

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