Okay, so I am in serious danger of turning into one of those people who try to tell others how to use social media here. But stuff it.
Twitter. I bloody love Twitter. It’s no secret. But just lately I seem to be inundated (okay, it happens about five or six times a day so maybe not inundated but you get the drift) with people demanding that I retweet this, retweet that. And do you know what? It really hacks me off.
If I want to retweet something, then I will. And I often do. Call me old fashioned but you know, something that makes me smile, something that I want to share, that kind of thing.
But when people (who normally aren’t even following me by the way) send messages along the lines of “MY PET DONKEY ONLY HAS ONE EAR. PLEASE RT THIS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THIS TERRIBLE DISEASE” it really gets on my wick. And I’m sure I can’t be on my own on this one.
This morning I woke up to one such message. (Yes, I do check Twitter before I even get out of bed. Addicted, much?) The message was sent in BIG SHOUTY CAPITALS which annoys the hell out me anyway so they had already got my goat but when I checked their timeline, they had sent the same shouty demanding tweet to dozens of other people too. I won’t name them because to be fair, if it hadn’t have been them then it would have been somebody else, such is the trend for bombarding me with these things at the moment. It went along the lines of their child has an illness and they demanded that I retweet to raise awareness of it. The profile of the Twitter account didn’t link to any sort of charity or even a site explaining the illness. Am I missing something here? How does retweeting a shouty message to my 5000 and odd followers actually help their reportedly sick child? Baffling. There is in fact only one word to describe this and it is spam. And of course I reported and blocked them as I always do.
Call me cynical but I don’t think the kind of messages and tweets that I am moaning about here are anything to do with charity or raising awareness. Or if they are, they are going the wrong way about things. When did social media get so, well, anti-social? When did it become acceptable to SHOUT at somebody and demand that they retweet something?
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge huge huge believer that social media can be used for social good. Just look at the campaigns that I have been involved with for UNICEF and Save The Children to name but two. In fact, anybody that follows me will know that I am more than happy to help charities spread the word when it is a cause that I truly support and can believe in. But blind retweets that actually have no real meaning? No. Just no.
Rant over. For today at least.