Quit sharing

Ben Reed —  August 25, 2011 — 4 Comments

Retweeting to get a Retweet in return may be the most base form of fake generosity that social media has spiraled into.

image via PLR Internet Marketing

(if you’re not sure what a Retweet is, get a crash course on verbiage I wrote HERE)

Here’s what happens.  You notice that I have quite a few followers.  You want my followers to like you and follow you and read your blog. So you read my blog post, retweet what I said about it, and sit and wait.  Just hoping that I’ll return the digital favor.

Stop it!

Twisted Generosity

Generosity gives, expecting nothing in return.  True generosity doesn’t scratch your back so you’ll scratch mine.  And when you give expecting a retweet, you rip the generosity right out of the gift.

And you give expecting the return gesture, you completely miss the point of sharing.  The point of sharing is not to bless the writer of the post.   It’s to bless YOUR followers.  The ones who look to you saying, “What new stuff have you found lately?”

Imagine this crazy scenario.  I give you a nice new gift.  Let’s say I give you a new iPad.  But the whole time, I’m looking over my shoulder, wondering if Apple is going to reward me for purchasing an iPad.  And you’re left wondering, “Did he just use me?”

I like what Dale Carnegie says in How to Win Friends and Influence People:

Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime—repeat them years after you have forgotten them.

Instead of looking at social sharing as a way of gaining followers, look at it as a way of blessing those who have chosen to follow you.  Of sharing with the world what you’re learning, who’s influencing you, and what’s shaking your world.  The more generous you can be, the more people will cherish your words and treasure them.  But leave a hint of personal gain in your generosity and your followers will sniff you out.

I’m pursuing a more generous social media.

Will you join me?

 

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Ben Reed

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Christ follower, husband, father, writer, pastor of small groups at Long Hollow Baptist Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.
  • http://www.churchthought.com Matt Steen

    So now I find myself stuck with an interesting predicament:

     One one hand, I like what you have just written, and want people to read this as well… on the other hand, I am a little nervous about what it says about me if I retweet it.

    In all seriousness, good word.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Ha! I actually hadn’t thought about that!  So I probably shouldn’t look for many RTs on this post…

  • http://twitter.com/Mathendacil Pierre Schramm

    This reminds me of Luke 6:34-35:
    “And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return” (ESV)

    Why limit the scope of this to monetary concerns only? Twitter also counts…

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      You’re spot on there, Pierre!