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Rethinking Retweeting

This morning I got a Facebook request from a complete stranger. I didn’t recognize the name, so I looked at his wall to see if there was anything I was interested in. There were links from all the wrong :) political web sites, with his own excerpts of the article, and there wasn’t all that much where he was actually the source of information or activity.

“Oh, this is going to go well, I thought.” Thus, I ignored the request.

I felt a little shallow about it, because I believe that if all your friends agree with everything you say, you don’t have enough friends. Maybe it’s the political season, maybe it’s because I just watched a “foreign policy” debate that was more about Detroit than detente, but I’m fatigued by the sheer volume of the passing along and retweeting of other people’s articles and ideas. I would think that if I were actually interested in articles from a political web site, I would already be subscribed to it.

Yet I mash the retweet button on Twitter frequently.

I’m…sorry?

Do we think so highly of ourselves that if I just show this article from Huffington Post or that article from Townhall.com that I’m going to change someone’s mind? Or, perhaps, do we think so lowly of our neighbor that said article is going to change our neighbor’s mind with little or no effort on our part?

I know when I pass something along, the thinking is usually along the lines of, “I enjoyed this, and I think you might enjoy this, too.” That makes me feel a little better about ignoring those who don’t share my interests.

I like to see the effort. Remember when Facebook asked, “What are you doing?” and actually started the sentence, “I am…?” Now, the impetus is to share everything. Not just the cool ways you are serving your neighbor, or your pictures, or even your opinions. Share other people’s sharing.

Really. We’re better than this…I think.

I’m still going to retweet on Twitter. I’ll still re-share on social media. Thankfully it will be less now that the debates two-party news manufacturing events are now over. Of course, if you do wander over to Google+, you’ll only get my political re-shares if you’re in my politics circle anyway.

 

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