To Thank or Not to Thank – That Is the Question

 

I am polite. Too polite. Is there such a thing? I’m not sure but I do have a friend who jokes that I would write a thank you note to someone who wrote me a thank you note. I don’t know where she got that idea. (I’ve done it.)

I always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I’ve taught my children to do so as well. ThoughtBubble

Moving on to social media. When I tweet someone’s post, it’s nice to receive a “thanks”. But it’s okay if I don’t. Some people retweet the shout-out. Or reply. Or favorite. Or tweet something of mine.

There’s no “right” way to handle this. I’ve read contradictory advice on what to do (I’m sure you’re shocked). Some recommend thanking. Others, reciprocation. Others suggest it’s not necessary to do anything.

I will say that if I scroll through someone’s timeline and see nothing, nothing, but “thanks, @schmoopypoo!” “thanks, @pumpkinhead!” “thanks, @ilovechocolate!” and on and on and on, I have no idea who this person is or what he or she is interested in.

I think you should thank but, on Twitter, there are several ways of doing this. How do you decide when and how to thank?

 

Thanks

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

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66 thoughts on “To Thank or Not to Thank – That Is the Question

  1. I’m horribly impolite. Granted, I try not to be rude, but I don’t often take the moment I should to send a thank you note. It was never ingrained in me, and I fear I might fail my daughter by not teaching her because I don’t think about it. I know I should, but it slips my mind.

    When it comes to Twitter, I do think that the thank-you notes clutter the feed, but it also indicates that there is a real person there. That’s better than a bot, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • How rude! I can’t believe I associate with the likes of you, lady. But then, with the funny and the books and the general loveliness of you… Forgiven. You never owe me a thank-you note.

      Fair enough. A cluttered “thank you thank you thank you” feed is better than a bot.

      Like

  2. I used to thank people on Twitter. But when I started doing it more, I realized how much of my time was being taken up dealing with other people’s thank yous! I literally get hundreds of notifications every day, and I just can’t respond to them all. I imagine that others who are active retweeters feel the same way. So now I only thank new followers and those who go out of their way to tweet something of mine.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I can’t imagine, with your following, how you could possibly thank every person who mentions or RTs you. No way. At least you’ve found a way that works for you. You need to actually, you know, write sometimes. Maybe eat. Sleep.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I get 150 retweets a day on average. Yeah, it’s a lot – especially when one tweet of a certain person’s post gets 59 retweets on its own! Ahem. But the majority of those RTs come from people who RT me regularly, and vice versa. Thank you is understood.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I make it a point to thank other writers/bloggers for RTing my work because they know the struggle to get readers. I also think there’s kind of an unwritten rule of reciprocity amongst that group. Not meaning that just because someone RTs your stuff you should automatically RT theirs – their content may not be of interest to your followers – but I tend to look out more for those who are more conscientious. I’m more likely to check out what they write in the future.

    It’s kinda lame when you see people participate in blog days on Twitter like #ArchiveDay and their stuff gets RT’d, but they don’t seem to RT anyone else’s stuff. It’s not take-take.

    Twitter can be a tough place to make relationships, so I think little things like saying thanks for an RT can help bridge the gap and build a network.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good point about a tweep’s content not being of interest to your readers. Also, in some cases, I’ve found it difficult to reciprocate (even if I liked the tweet) because it’s not appropriate for any agents/editors who are following me or view my timeline. People sometimes forget that not everyone is on Twitter for the same reason. Some are extremely business-oriented and can’t tweet anything they wouldn’t show to their boss, others… 😉

      I have noticed people who participate in blog days and only tweet their own posts. I think some don’t know how it works. ? Or not. It definitely can be a tough place to build relationships. I think your gratitude is a great way to “bridge the gap”.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I like twitter, I get a ton of views, but i’m careful who I retweet. I tend to retweet people who don’t follow me hoping to find “solid” followers. (They owe me, right?), I also retweet things that aren’t related to my stuff because my followers may not be all about being a total slut at 40…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve heard “thanks for following” and “thanks for RTs” are often bots that some people use – the same ones that send automated DMs. Same situation for some RTs, even – they search for key words and RT the tweets that have those words. I don’t think this is as common, but I wonder about the RTs that happen literally seconds after I post. So I’ve taken a stance of if the person RTs me and they have something interesting enough to RT, I’ll return the favor.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ah! I’d never heard that but it makes sense. I’ve seen timelines that are nothing but “thanks so-and-so!” for five pages. I keep scrolling and scrolling but I see no actual content. I don’t follow these people, I’ll admit. I can’t tell who they are, what they’re interested in, or what kind of content they tweet.
      I’ve also had RTs seconds after I post and I know the person cannot possibly have read my post. It might be automated–had never thought of that. Agreed. I like to RT if a person tweets something of mine.

      Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right. I suppose this all depends on who the person is and what I’ve retweeted for them. Also, if someone always shares or RTs my posts/tweets, I find something of theirs I like and RT.

      Like

  5. I admit that every time I ignore a Tweet that thanks a group of us, which is most of the time I’m on Twitter, I feel a twinge of guilt maybe—or maybe not, because if I replied to all of them, except the few that only thank me and not a group of us, I’d be on Twitter all day and as it is I easily spend about 3 to 5 hours a day on Twitter mostly ReTweeting others who I hope will Retweet the few Tweets of my own I sent out.

    For instance, today, so far, and I’m almost done for the day, I Retweeted about 100 for others and will finish up with 20 of my own in addition to 19 Tweets that are not mine but are also not Retweets—those 19 Tweets, I was a public school teacher for thirty years, are to information posts on other Blogs that are defending the public schools against the lies and fraud of the for-profit, corporate reformers who are trying to take over educating our children and closing the non-profit, transparent, democratic public schools that are not failing and full of lazy, incompetent teachers.

    Am I starting to rant? :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. That is a lot. Responding to each and every “thank you” would take a great deal of time. If you’re already on Twitter for hours and RT that many people, you would be on there all day. I’m assuming people appreciate your RTs and aren’t sitting around waiting for a thank you tweet.

      Like

      • :o)

        I’m on Twitter just 3 to 5 hours a day. I’m also retired so I have all those hours when I”m not sleeping to write and maintain my branded author’s platform that includes four active Blogs and several Websites in addition to all those hours on Twitter.

        I figure I spend about 14 hours a day doing all that. After the 3 to 5 hours on Twitter that leaves 9 – 11 hours for everything else.

        In addition, I walk about three miles a day and take in a couple of films during the week at the local theater. I probably put in about 70 – 100 hours a week on Twitter, my Blogs and working on the next book.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I do something. It depends on the tweeter and our ‘relationship’. Sometimes o retweet something of theirs, especially if they’re writers too. Other times I say thank you, personally if I often interact, and in groups if I don’t know that well. I do feel I have to acknowledge in some way. On the other hand, I never (consciously) check up on who thanks me or not, so perhaps it’s not so important after all:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yours is the third comment about relationships. This is social media, after all. I hadn’t focused this Thought Bubble on groups but there are a lot of groups on Twitter (especially in the writing community). Is a thanks just implied in a group setting or chat? Great point about checking up on who is and isn’t thanking you. I was wondering what I should be doing and hadn’t given much thought to the fact that I don’t check up on what other tweeps do if I RT them. If I like a post and/or find it useful, I’m going to share it. So after all this…perhaps you’re right. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It used to be clear how to thank someone, and thanking someone is important to me. Today, those expectations of how to thank someone is muddy. Not everyone appreciates handwritten notes; not everyone wants “THX for the RT” cluttering their notifications. It’s kind of like learning someone’s love language. If I love you, I’ll feed you. But if you love me, you might send me send me a card. We speak a different language, but it’s still love. Without knowing someone intimately, I don’t know his or her love language. So the best I can do is to express thanks in a way that is intended to be meaningful. Not everyone will accept it or understand it, but at least I know I’m reaching out. And I’d rather reach out, that not care. So…to finally answer your question…it depends. Those I engage with or see RTing weekly, I make it a point to RT in return. Some I reach out to only if I have something more significant to add. I don’t know what I’ll do if I get large followings like Lori, because it’s not in my nature to be disconnected. I suspect I’ll figure out a way such as she has because I find Lori to be engaging. Great discussion you got going! Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • This is brilliant. Yes, you have to learn someone’s love language. What do they want/expect/appreciate? Although this could get time-consuming. But people you “know” from social media or ones you often share RTs with, are easier to read.
      Exactly. As others have said, if you are being genuine, that really is the best you can do. And if someone takes it the wrong way or doesn’t agree with you, there’s not much you can (or maybe even should) do about it. It depends for me, too. And, no, I can’t imagine having a huge following like Lori, either. That would certainly bring about another Thought Bubble. 😉

      Like

  8. I tend to favor retweeting as way of returning the favor over thanks. I will send the occasional thank you, but considering that most people I follow are actively trying to share their own content, I feel the retweet is more appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. After reading this post and sleeping on it, I’m now thinking of putting a Thank You for everyone who ReTweets my own Tweets or follows me on Twitter in the permanent description under my mug shot on my Twitter page. I haven’t totally decided yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I started off thanking people on twitter but I’ve more or less stopped now and try to RT instead. Or even connect with them in a mini conversation! There are people in my timeline and regularly thank me for RTs but rarely RT back – honestly, I’m considering unfollowing them. A Twitter thank you reads more like “look at me” than “I’m generally grateful that you took the trouble to read my post and pass it on”

    Liked by 2 people

    • I, too, started off thanking everyone. I think a lot of people did. Most people here have commented that RTs are more appreciated. And replies are just fun. As I said above, it’s social media. 🙂 Some people who thank are genuinely grateful but I do see what you’re saying about the “look at me” tweets. I’m always extremely grateful when someone actually reads my work and shares it–just trying to find the right balance in how I thank.

      Like

      • I think I was a bit grumpy when I wrote that comment. I don’t think all thank you tweets are about look at me. I agree it’s as Larry says below, it’s about being genuine.
        Great that your post has sparked a lot of discussion.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post, Sarah!

    I think the key is to be genuine. If you feel appreciation, send a “thank you.” If you spot a worthy post or tweet from that person, pass it forward. But don’t do it just to balance the “scorecard.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I wrote a whole post about this a few years ago! (Not sure if you’ve seen it.) http://ninabadzin.com/2011/05/31/the-twitter-thanking-crisis/

    My take is not always popular, but generally I stand by your paragraph of not liking to see tweet after tweet of thanks. I thank sometimes, but mostly I thank in other ways like using the favorite, making sure to tweet something of that person’s in the near future (though not exactly tit-for-tat ever) and visiting the blog, etc. My theory is that the tweeting of their stuff and a visit to the blog is 100 times more useful than a generally cluttering “thanks” tweet. But I had a lot more to say about it in the post. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! 😀 “Twitter Thanking Crisis”. Great title. So this was an issue long before Twitter was even a piece of glitter in my eye. Look forward to reading it. Some people really do want that “thank you” but I agree that a tweet or RT or visit to/comment on their blog is more useful. I suppose it depends on the person and the reason they’re on Twitter. But we can’t please all of the people all of the time… 😉

      Like

  13. I’m so with you on the ‘thank you’s’ but I’m not on Twitter so can’t help there as I have no idea how it works. I would be useless though because I do say thank for everything…you know that, ha!…but I honestly do it because that is what I really mean and can’t help it! But us Brits say thank you and sorry to our own shadows. Twitter seems as if it handles this ‘rule’ differently. Be interested to know further thoughts…

    Liked by 2 people

    • If you’re genuine about it and feel like tweeting a “thanks”, that’s great. It works for you and “if it ain’t broke…” I appreciate your comment and feedback on this. A lot of people do send out thank you tweets and expect them in return. Others, not so much. It’s a topsy-turvy Twitter world.

      Like

  14. Unless you edit your retweets, it actually takes more time to thank someone than it does to hit the retweet button. And the retweet potentially has more value (though this also opens up the “why would you RT if you didn’t read” debate). I gave up group thanks when I saw people spamming them with links. Etiquette on Twitter is all about trying to figure out what contributes the most value in the available time to an audience which varies in size for each individual. I think the only rule that can be applied is to do what makes you feel the most genuine and gracious in that regard. I have a page on my blog that outlines my social media practice (http://paulareednancarrow.com/social-practice/); I have never included anything relative to this question there, but perhaps I should.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! –> “Etiquette on Twitter is all about trying to figure out what contributes the most value in the available time to an audience which varies in size for each individual.” I look forward to reading (or re-reading as the case may be) your post on social media practice. Yet again, the “as long as you’re genuine” comment. Being genuinely appreciative is, I think, the answer to all of this.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a great question and being a naturally neurotic person I often worry I’m doing it wrong (not thanking enough and/or too much). I probably err on the former for fear of being annoying in my feed, but I always favorite RTs and comments plus reciprocate whenever possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 Naturally neurotic. I love that. I worry, too, that I’m doing things “wrong” or upsetting or offending. (Hence, the Thought Bubble.) I think the consensus here is that, if you’re genuine, do whatever you want. Also, everyone has his or her own expectations and way of thanking so you will never please everyone. That said, it’s easy to favorite and doesn’t clutter up anyone’s timeline so you can’t go wrong with those.

      Like

  16. Wow, Sarah! You did cook up a storm. Twitter obviously gets a lot of people thinking. I read another blog post this week on the same topic. I’m not keen on “Thanks for the RT” if it stops there. I’ve read their post, and tweeted it out and they say “Thanks” and that’s it. I’d rather it be ignored than get the thanks.
    If someone genuinely tweets my post, then I will go to their timeline and tweet or RT something of theirs. If they simply RT an RT (click on it without reading or commenting) then I probably don’t, unless they do so regularly, then I will do the same for them, regularly.
    I think some of the hashtags encourage just RTing whatever is on the timeline, but I’m not sure of the purpose of this. Unless someone actually stops to read and comment, what’s the point in having a huge number of RTs, or followers for that matter? I think the purpose of the Tweets and RTs, for me anyway, is to engage in conversation, if not on Twitter, then in the blog comments.
    I would have come to your lovely post anyway, but I actually came from Lori Schafer’s RT with #Mondayblogs, so now that I’ve read your post and all these lovely comments, I will go back there and RT her RT!
    As everyone seems to be saying, we all have different ways of engaging. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the “regulars” kind of know you appreciate their RTs, I think. If someone goes out of his or her way to comment (instead of clicking the twitter button saying “such-and-such post via such-and-such”) and adds to it: “You have to read this…” or “I really loved this one…” then I usually thank.
      All these comments add up to the fact that if you’re genuine, do it your way. And if someone is offended, well, like I said, you can’t please everyone. Oh, and thanks for the RT on Lori’s tweet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, Sarah. We each have to find the way that works for us, and if it doesn’t work for others, then I guess we just have to accept that. We can’t attempt to please everyone, it would be just too difficult. It’s difficult enough just trying to please ourselves.:)

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I haven’t focused on Twitter in a while, but I usually try to say thanks if the person is new or doesn’t really retweet or engage with me. But if a person is sharing a lot of my stuff, I feel like I’m bothering them if I thank them for each and every tweet they do. In those cases, I favorite their tweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Well crud. I feel that I am waaay out of my league on this twitter thing. I just click “favorite” when someone RT or tweets something of mine. It’s all very odd. I feel like I am standing in front of a live audience wearing a bikini, with something in between my teeth, and uncombed hair. Is it too late to crawl back under my rock?

    Liked by 1 person

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