There’s a sort of virus that infects social media users. We want to be seen as cool, trend setting, ahead of the curve, smart. This goes to me, too. I am also guilty of editing tweets – rewriting them to get the wording just so. But original thoughts are hard. I, myself, have only about two per year.

We look for ways to extend our content capabilities. I’m pretty sure the word ‘curate’ is over, but we want some credit for our high bar for ideas and content. We read something by some smart (or whatever adjective we’re chasing) person and we want to share it. Aha! I didn’t have that idea. But I so agree with the idea that I am also to be viewed as an author of it.

Two days ago, one person finally noticed that KFC only followed a clever set of 11 people on Twitter. That was a very smart execution (or insert your chosen descriptor).

I never saw this Tweet. Instead I saw 20 other retweets of it, plus a completely new post by Business Insider or one of those publications. There’s nothing wrong with sharing. There is something wrong with anyone who wanted even some of the credit for discovering the idea, or a publication for turning it into a “You won’t believe the 11 people KFC follows! Click Here!!!” post.

You’ve seen “Retweets do not equal endorsements” in people’s bios. Really? What else are they? Do people post things they don’t endorse, things that don’t reflect their opinions? Not unless they post the exact opposite and add some commentary that makes it clear it’s not an endorsement.

We should all post less. Lord knows, nobody would miss my 17,000 tweets. Early in my career (way before social media) a very smart guy told me to wait for my pitch, to calm down and think before speaking. I (mostly) took that advice. We can all stand to wait for our pitch when it comes to sharing ideas. Sharing stuff by established, smarter people does not necessarily make you smart.

Instead of overing over that retweet button, take the advice I was given. Wait for your pitch. Be more thoughtful. Don’t jump on the sharing bandwagon as the RTs roll into the thousands. Instead, let it go by. Let Business Insider and Mashable write their crap stories and wait for your own original idea.

Categories: Thought