Are you a Twitter guru? If so, please disregard this particular post. No, this post is for the rest of us….Twitter neophytes, still finding our way in the morass of information that inundates our timeline on a daily basis. There’s a specific feature of the “tweet” business that must be discussed.
I speak, of course, of the mysterious “Retweet.”
In Tweetdom, the “RT” has become cache for people to fill up your timeline with other people’s interesting material. It’s considered a true win-win for all those involved, as interesting and/or important information is shared among followers of several individuals.
In theory, that makes sense.
In practice, it’s an annoying pain in the arse.
I submit to you the following four categories of abusive “RT’ers,” may God have mercy on their souls.
1. The Serial Retweeter ~ These are the folks that have found their niche in the information-sharing universe; they create or state nothing original, but they pound you with 100 “RT’s” a day (not by accident). It’s pure self-promotion. The more they RT, the more they keep their ugly avatar in your face, and the more important they seem to the rest of us minions.
2. Brother-in-Law Retweeter ~ Kin to the “Serial RT’er;” this individual is shamelessly RT’ing information from their assorted (formal or informal) network of buddies. You may have 12 people from the same consulting firm Retweeting a colleague’s lame blog post. The impression is that the post must be entertaining or informative, while the truth is more likely the post was never read before being RT’ed. It’s a lazy man’s method of Marketing.
3. Conversational Retweeter ~ These folks have confused Twitter with texting…it’s not enough for them to have a dialogue via text, they want to RT every brick in the building along the way.
4. Begging Retweeter ~ There seems to be a new movement to utilize Twitter as a chain-letter mechanism; “RT this for my cousin as she battles blah blah blah….” Thankfully I’m not famous enough to get hammered with these particular RT’s, but it’s pandemic.
A brief backstory ~ initially, the usefulness of Twitter escaped me, as it did so many others. Then, a magical thing happened; the Dallas Mavericks went on a miraculous run through the 2011 NBA playoffs, culminating in the only NBA Championship in their history. During the 22-game playoff run, there were several games that became seminal moments for Mavs fans, as the continued to rally back from seemingly insurmountable deficits to win games. It was surreal. It was then I realized that Twitter was perfectly suited for these moments; men who might normally yell at the TV can now type those snarky sentiments to a bunch of like-minded idiots. It’s a wonderful way to watch a sporting event, and you find some of the funniest, most insightful, most ridiculous comments during these “pucker” moments.
Unfortunately, since then Twitter has become something decidedly different; there seems to be a lack of original thought in most of the Tweets I see. Instead, there’s a multitude of Retweets linking to yet another Retweet of a 3rd person’s link to an article written by a 4th party.
I’m not against the RT, I’d be hypocritical if I said I was ~ but with great audience comes great responsibility; there’s a lot of smart, clever people out there, I’d sure like to hear more from them using their own voice.