Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Favorites and Shares and Retweets..Oh My! What Does It All Mean?

Social media is a perilous landscape; it's easy to offend or to be offended.

Twitter is especially hard to navigate because through the system of favorites and re-tweets, you can see content shared by people that you don't follow or are "friends" with.

There are people on Twitter who I don't follow (because they won't follow me back, but that's another issue), but whose tweets I enjoy reading. I see their tweets because they tweet using hashtags of things I'm interested in and because I use TweetDeck (no endorsement here), it's easier to keep track of who's posting about what I'm interested in.

Today I tried to favorite a tweet from a person whose tweets I enjoy, but isn't in the follow zone, and got an error saying they blocked me from favoriting their tweets! I have to say that the rejection stung a bit.
But then I thought, why would this person not want me to favorite their tweets?  Is it something I said, or maybe,...just maybe, I don't understand the whole favorite and re-tweet system as well as I think I do.

I've always approached favorites and re-tweets like I use likes and shares on Facebook. A like means I like this, or I agree with this or OMG your baby is ADORABLE!! A share means I think the people I'm "friends" with would like this.

I feel the same way about favorites and re-tweets.
Sometimes I see a tweet that's so humorous, intelligent, insightful, or profane, that I wish I thought of it, that I want to share it.
Other times, I see tweets, that I really like for my personal consumption, but I don't want to bring home to mother, so to speak, so I favorite it.
I also favorite any tweet, unless it's  uber offensive, @me because I want them to know that at the very least I read their tweet. I also try to respond because it's the polite thing to do, but I've also made Twitter "friends" this way or at the very least have had some amusing conversations.

I've reached the point in this post where I can blame my age, sex, ethnicity or economic situation for my opinions, but I'm not going to. I'm thoroughly enjoying the niche I've carved out for myself over the years and I even make some pocket change doing it.

I honestly don't know how to end this without getting all preachy about how we should be kind to each other or how to treat online interactions the same way we treat interpersonal ones, but I guess I just did.

In the immortal words of Bill and Ted, Be Excellent to Each Other.