Friday, July 15, 2011

The Case Against the "Thanks for the RT"

Twitter logo initialImage via WikipediaFor some who are not on Twitter this post may bear no meaning to your life.  But for others who like myself use Twitter every day for professional development, I pose a question: do we really need to thank someone for retweeting a post?  You see, it is not that I am lazy, forgetful, or ungrateful when some decides to resend out something I have posted.  In fact, often I reach out to people to thank them for reading or leaving a comment.  But the "Thanks for the rt" post that I am bound and destined by some Twitter etiquette - well, I am over it.

I get that people on Twitter are trying to mimic real life; when someone passes something for you, you thank them.  And yet Twitter is not real life in that sense; I am not running to Canada to personally thank a friend every time they tweet out something of mine.  So instead we try to thank them with an inane statement that does nothing to bridge communication.  Does anyone ever write back "You're welcome?"  Does anyone do anything more than skim the thanks for the rt?  I know we all want to be noticed and I know we all want to be thanked for our contributions on Twitter, but let's thank in a different manner.  Let's really thank people instead of taking the easy way out of the canned statement.  If you really do appreciate someone sent your post out, well, then tell them that.  Or don't.  At some point there just is no keeping up with it.  Some of the people who write many posts a week probably have no way of thanking everyone, and I think that is ok.  I don't think we need to bash people for not saying thanks.  I think we need to let this part of Twitter go.  Yes, it is nice to be thanked, but when it is a hollow oft-repeated statement then what is really the point.

So I will say it now; thank you for always resending my posts.  I notice and I appreciate it.  I apologize if I do not thank you that day but sometimes I forget and other times I don't have time.  And I think that is ok, do you?



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9 comments:

Sra. Spanglish said...

I think the idea is to show gratitude by potentially expanding the retweeter's audience. If someone says thank you to me, then all of their followers would be alerted to my existence, and they might check my profile out and then become my followers too. So it can be kind of nice if the thanker, indeed, has a lot of followers.

gail said...

;D The things we mull over...
I don't mind the "thx for the RT" tweets but loathe the inane ones like "here's the grilled cheese I just made" w/ Twitpic. I guess a thank you could be better delivered via DM. Think I'll follow that route instead. It's more personal that way as well.

Cathy said...

Pernille,
Thanks for this post. I wonder about this Twitterquette often. I try to thank friends for RTs, MTs, and other mentions as I appreciate friends who grow the conversation. I want them to know I noticed they were interested or shared some thinking. However, I do wonder what other people think when their feed is filled with this type of conversation. Additionally, thanking is harder now that I have to keep my eye in more than one place to monitor (the auto RT button). I will be interested to read what others think.

Cathy

Cristina said...

I am SO with you on cutting bandwaste! I wanted to stop thanking people...but then they would read it as a lack of consideration/gratitude.

Sheila Stewart said...

Something I ponder about too! I appreciate the thank you for a RT, but usually don't expect it. And certainly not every RT. I figure the blogger/tweeter has done the real work that I am sharing in an RT, so really, an RT is thanking them, in my mind...:)

Isn't thanking for a RT really about thanking the person for what they have done for you? I think I might rather make time to acknowledge what the RT'er is contributing and sharing as well.

Tom Altepeter said...

I choose to thank people because my audience is quite small. When the audience is too large, it must become impossible. For what it's worth, I don't need thanks from anyone; however, until I become famous, people will be getting it from me :).

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

I absolutely love the discussion coming from this since I am not alone in my pondering. I never questioned whether to thank any one but simply whether the canned response of "Thanks for the rt" really benefits anyone. I don't think it does. A heartfelt thank you is always welcome but often there simply is not time, and I think that is ok as well.

Lyn Hilt said...

Depending on the day, time, how many people read, etc., I get the chance to say thanks to all for sharing my posts, or none, or some but not all. I feel horrible when I have the time to say thanks shortly after posting but then miss a few names here and there. Not sure which is worse, not saying thank you to anyone, or excluding a few b/c I missed them in the stream! Not to mention the fact that there are a lot of people who share links without including the author's name as a mention.
I like that you thanked everyone here. I thank you for being a great supporter and member of my network!

Cornéli@ said...
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