Try this experiment: Take a impactful message from a source, boil it down to 280 characters, then share it on Twitter with a broken link. Lots of folks will share your link. In fact, sharing links we have not read has become Twitter’s latest bad habit.
Sharing unseen links is a new kind of exhibitionism that’s had a lot of play recently. It’s an interesting phenomenon. But I wonder if it’s such a bad thing.
What we share represents a new form of exhibitionism. We share how we like to be seen and what we share defines us in the public eye. And what we say we link to may be less important than the show of sharing itself. Posturing and positioning may be more important than the curation we like to believe we’re doing.
While sharing without seeing is something I avoid, I have to wonder if it carries its own value. Upvoting ideas, thoughts, political platitudes and beliefs allows us to narrate our story without so much work.
If things get bad we can add the disclaimer that shared tweets are neither endorsements nor acknowledgments that we’ve actually seen what we’re sharing. That would allow calculated self-presentation while absolving us of the long-form baggage on the other side of the link.
Update June 11, 2020: Twitter is trying to stop people from sharing articles they have not read. They are experimenting with a prompt when a link has not been clicked.
And if you are interested in everything written here about Twitter you can check out our 33 charts Twitter Archive. In fact, every post here on 33c has tags at the very bottom of the post that guide to to related content that you might find interesting.