On Tuesday this week I posted to Twitter, as I do on occasion, my thoughts on a certain practice — putting "This." before a RT when you agree with something. I heard back from over 100 people, largely in agreement, that it was tired. It was a mostly hilarious exchange that had me giggling all morning. There were some that did not agree, which I expect as well. Encourage, in fact. In my head it was posed as a question, Could we stop doing this?, fully expecting some people to say no. Or argue why they really liked it and thought it was effective. No one really did.
Some were offended and thought I was scolding people for how they use Twitter. I see how someone who used "This" could feel put off. But, by saying so, they were scolding me for how I use Twitter. Funny how that works. We should use our accounts how we choose. Like cats? Cat it up! Love running? Show us your new shoes! Music nerd? Inform us! Like 'This'? Use it. By all means. I'm a writer and wordsmith with opinions about and love for communication and grammar and practices, so, I post about that on occasion. I value what each and every one of the people I follow have to contribute. I think it's amazing to have such a resource of knowledgeable people at my fingertips.
The bigger point here is this: Using Twitter is optional. It's voluntary. It's free. Use your tools better. (Thanks for that line, @nylons!) If I don't like the things someone posts consistently, I unfollow them. If I don't like what someone posts occasionally, I ignore it. Scroll right over. All the time.
Now, I hadn't seen anyone do 'this' (rim shot) particular thing that morning, but it was something that was all over my feed the day prior. I'd hoped the "This" trend would trail off. The reason behind that? It doesn't add anything. It is someone else's thoughts with a throwaway word in front of them. Does it matter too much? Nah. I said it because:
I wanted to see change, so I created it.
I just hope at some point to get 100+ responses about something that really matters. I'll do my part to make sure it happens.