Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just because they retweet you, it doesn't mean they have understood you

It's nice to be widely retweeted, but does it mean that all those people have understood what you have said?

A new paper highlighted by the British Psychological Society's Research Digest blog suggests it does not:
The researchers based at Peking University and Cornell University say that the very option to share or repost social media items is distracting, and what's more, the decision to repost is itself a further distraction and actually makes it less likely that readers will have properly understood the very items that they chose to share.
You can read about the two studies on the Research Digest, but I have observed a small example of this phenomenon myself today.

Last night I blogged about Desborough Town Council and its decision to increase its precept by more than 400 per cent.

If you read that post you will see I express some sympathy for this decision - "If ever a town gave the visitor the impression that it needs some money spent on it, that town is Desborough" - yet every person who has retweeted my tweets about this post appears to be a Labour supporter.

Did they even click through to the post before retweeting?

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