Linked – The Case Against Retweets

I don’t think I’d go to the trouble of not seeing any retweets, but this does remind us that maybe don’t tweet or retweet something that makes you angry, it’s not really helping anything?

“But what if viral content isn’t the best content? Two Wharton professors have found that anger tops the list of shareable emotions in the social-media world, and a study of the Chinese internet service Weibo found that rage spreads faster than joy, sadness, and disgust. In general, emotional appeals work well, as everyone in media has come to discover. Fundamentally small stories that have no lasting import can dominate Twitter for days: a doctor being dragged off an airplane, the killing of Harambe the gorilla, something Lena Dunham said.”

The one thing I will say, is that to a certain extent, what we see on social media is our own doing. We choose who to follow and who to connect to. There are settings that let you control whether you see retweets of certain users, (in the authors case he had a script that turned that off for all of the accounts he followed) who can send you messages, who to block, who to mute, etc.

We also are the ones who decide what we want to contribute. When you see a headline in a tweet, or just see a quote from someone without even bothering to click through and read the article, or do any research into what you’re retweeting, you’re part of the problem. It fashionable to blame all this on Russian bots and trolls, but I’ve seen plenty of people I know doing the same thing. Something on Twitter makes me angry, I must retweet and make it the focus of my entire day, no matter hos small it really is.

I swear it’s like people just can’t go one day without finding something to be outraged about. It’s like their self-esteem is tied into how many ways they can be angry at other people, and how many people they can convince to be angry with them.

I prefer to share things that I think will educate, inspire or just make people happy. If that’s not what you want your social media to be, that’s cool. You don’t need to follow me, and I don’t need to follow you. End of story.


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