Most people I have talked to say that their biggest Twitter pet peeve is when someone sends them an automated direct message. Those actually don’t bother me anymore, I’ve grown strangely used to them and I just hit delete, not much aggravation or effort required there.
However, I have a Twitter pet peeve now that is driving me bananas. It is when a complete stranger, someone that I follow but haven’t had a chance to get acquainted with yet, sends me a direct message and asks me to retweet something for him or her.
I receive at least a dozen DMs every day from strangers asking me to retweet their messages. In my opinion, that is an abuse of direct message, it’s annoying, and it makes the person that sent it look desperate. There are some exceptions to the rule. If it is someone that I am friends with, or, if it is an Amber Alert, of course, I have no problem with that. I am specifically talking about strangers that only want to use me as a retweet robot (in Chris Brogan’s words). I mean, where is the love?
In the old days, each tweet had to stand on its own two feet; the composer of that tweet had to put time and effort into a compelling title and good content. Now it seems so many of us have just gotten lazy, and we figure we’ll send out a bunch of DMs requesting an RT, and maybe someone will actually do it. This whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I follow over 24,000 people, so maybe I’m overreacting, maybe when you follow that many people, you are just going to have some that don’t know any better, I don’t know. What do you think? Is asking a complete stranger for an RT in a direct message rude or not?
I decided to ask my very dear friend @AskAaronLee, who has about 115,000 followers, if he gets these types of DMs, and whether or not he thinks it is rude. He said, “Yes I get them from strangers and yes it is rude! It’s like someone I don’t know asking me if they could borrow money. Hell no!” Then he added, “unless it is a really good post.” This takes me back to what I said originally, if you have good content, you don’t have to beg for RTs, people will find you and RT you on their own.
Here are three relevant posts that I really enjoyed that might give you more insight on this topic:
I’m an old fashioned girl with old fashioned values. Take me out to dinner before trying to kiss me and tweet hello and spell my name correctly before asking me to retweet your new post.
Thank you to http://www.flickr.com/photos/infopreneur/3218344149/
for this great photo entitled, “How To Do A Bubble Tweet And A Retweet.” Also, thank you to http://globalvoicesonline.org for the great prison cartoon above!