I love social media. I love what it accomplishes in terms of bringing people together who would have never connected in every day life. I love the potential it offers artists, in particular, a new platform to share their talent. I love the instant communion in times of celebration and tragedy. But I hate what it does to peoples sense of value.
Disclaimer: I am giving a whole heap of opinion here, and much of it may come across judgmental – that part isn’t my intention.
I have two pet peeves on twitter, in particular. The first: Crossfit. And I refuse to say anything further about that. The second: Compliment Retweets.
What is up with that?
I have said this before: retweeting a compliment (UNLESS it is specifically to comment on it or to thank the person) is like standing on the street corner with a sign around your neck that says “SEE! PEOPLE DO LIKE ME”. Who are you trying to convince? Yourself maybe?
Recently, I questioned DA Mayoral Candidate, Pastor and an acquaintance of mine on this exact thing. He retweeted a compliment. Added no comments, no thanks, no opinions. Just a Retweet. In other words, he simply wanted all his followers to see the compliment. I asked him why. His response was that “with all the negative attention I get, it’s nice to be appreciated once in a while”. My response to that was “would you have felt less appreciated had you not RT’d?”. He had not responded.
I decided to do a little experiment and went through my twitter feed. Of the last 50 tweets (I excluded corporate and news tweets), 11 were compliments retweeted. These were mainly from artists of some kind, with more than one appearing from The Arrows and Danny K.
I love The Arrows. Pam, especially. Danny K is the nicest, most sincere celebrity I know. So it’s not personal. But I do worry about the insecurity that lies behind these kind of ego-boosting RT’s.
So here’s where I’m going with this: Is Social Media creating such a false sense of what life is really like, that we start believing it ourselves? Do peoples opinions matter so much that our worth is based on the amount of RT’s and likes we receive? And if so, where have we gone wrong? How do we fix it.
Please, please, don’t simply RT a compliment. At least say thankyou. At least that way people will think you’re sincere and aren’t an insecure individual desperate for the affirmation of strangers.