Home > Human Nature and Technology > Tweet Unto Others…

Tweet Unto Others…

Oh, for the love of human nature. And Twitter.

Last week I saw a random tweet by Chris Brogan. (If you don’t know who he is, he’s way up there in the crew of social media savvy people. He knows his stuff.)  He informed “everyone” on Twitter that he would be UN-following everyone on Twitter and then systematically RE-following them because of an awful spam problem occurring in his Direct Messages.  Over 130,000 people follow his tweets.

My first thought was, “Wow, I seriously would not want to be Chris Brogan this week.” Seemed like quite a task and not a favorable one at that.  I also saw coming what actually happened to him before it did.

In his blog last week, Mr. Brogan shares the tale of the aftermath of the Unfollowing.  Apparently it wasn’t pretty and impassioned emails and poor taste tweets ensued.  He seems surprised that even though he “posted SEVERAL times a message to my stream that stated what I was doing, why I was doing it, and that I’d slowly follow people back.”, people got their panties in a bunch over it.

His blog does accurately point our several things we should  be aware of and I do highly recommend reading the blog(and not just that particular post) if you participate in the online world of sharing.

A few things surprised me though.  The biggest is that someone as incredibly knowledgeable in utilizing and teaching others about social media platforms would think that “several” tweets would be enough to let EVERYONE know that he was basically de-activating his account for a few days.  Divide 131,000 by let’s say, 7 (several). Okay- 10, just so we don’t have to think too hard.  That’s 13,100 people who would have to be logged in to Twitter at the exact right time and reading a stream that flows by incredibly fast at just the right moment to see just one of the broadcasting tweets. (cont.below pic)

I advise people asking about social media that you have to find a balance between being annoying and finding success when sharing something you want your fellow twitterers to see. This means you have to post often enough to know your different crowds and what times they appear. Posting at different times allows you to hit the “early before work/day/evening/night owl/weekend junkie/once daily just to catch up” users when you have something important to share. You also have to be humble enough to realize people aren’t always hanging on your every word. Perhaps it would have been better in Mr. Brogan’s case to set up one of those dreaded blanket DM features and just directly let followers know what was coming.  (not criticizing- I sincerely hope none of us ever have to deal with this issue)

What I take from what became a little experiment in human nature for Mr. Brogan is the part I want to share with you. Twitter (Facebook, etc.) are tools that help us connect in the digital world. It has opened doors for communicating across the board with people you know, wish you knew, wish you didn’t know, would never have met, and are glad you’ve met.  I agree and attest to others, as Mr. Brogan does, that there are no hard and fast rules to social media. One thing is absolutely clear, though. We need to remember that there is a real person on the other end when we communicate online. The only difference between the etiquette of real world interactions and that of online interaction is that there is a medium (whatever device you access the internet with) between you and the other people you share yourself with.  People do make an emotional connection with their social media contacts; they do become invested in the online relationships they cultivate.

With that in mind, just remember that the Golden Rule of life applies in the social media world too. When you initiate, engage, respond, share, and inform during your online interactions: please do unto others as you would like them to do to and for you.

Simply Put- The path to successful social media experiences lies not in who you know, but in how well you get to know them and how we treat each other while we do.

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