Sharing the love- Why I stopped it

I’ve been blogging here for a little over a year  and on my other blog for almost 8 years now. In the last couple of years, I’ve managed to learn a lot about blogging, writing, commenting and sharing. I don’t claim to be an expert in blogging (heaven forbid!), yet there are lessons I have gleaned for sure.

For one thing, it’s heartening to know that people read what I write. For another, it’s gratifying to learn that people will leave detailed and well thought-out comments. My latest post ‘Should I comment on a mean post?‘ is great testimony to both those points.

In this period, I have also experimented a lot. I’ve done blog hops, challenges, link ups, joined writing groups, received awards from fellow bloggers and even become a part of blogging groups (I actually even run one myself now, together with a few others). I still do some of the above actually, particularly challenges and enjoy them a great deal.

As part of my journey, I discovered Twitterfeed. It’s a nifty tool that auto shares your posts to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, based on your RSS feed. It is a one-step process that takes about 5 minutes to configure and you’re all set. Initially, I set it up for just my blogs.

Later, I discovered that this could be done for the RSS feed of anyone’s blogs! That looked really wonderful! I mean, think about it: A blogger you follow gets immediately notified that you have shared the post she’s written, almost as soon as she’s clicked on ‘Publish’. It’s such a high-inducing state of mind.

This also reminded me of the dopamine-inducing state of happiness that a Facebook ‘like’ can create and this fascinating study by Elan Morgan.

So, you’d be surprised to know that a couple of days ago, I deleted all blogs from my Twitterfeed account, bar my own and one blog on writing prompts.

Why I stopped sharing the love, Twitter, Social Media

Why, you ask? Well, there are a few reasons:

  1. An RT or Retweet is technically an endorsement of sorts. Yes, I’ve seen people say ‘RTs are not endorsements’ on their Twitter bios, but frankly I have never been able to wrap my head around that one. If I have retweeted an article or a blog post, suffice to say that I am in support of what has been expressed in said article/post. Assuming that I would never necessarily be in complete agreement with what everyone says at all times, because that’s just impossible, it felt wrong for me to auto-RT a post without having actually read it.
  2. I am far more wary about sharing posts/articles on Facebook or Google Plus, because I worry about cluttering people’s news feeds or their notifications tab. Why should it be any different for Twitter? I notice that some Twitter profiles are purely Retweets. While I am nobody to tell you how to run your social media presence, I do think that carefully placed retweets with perhaps a note are far more effective than a programmed auto-tweet.
  3. Social media is part promotion and part engagement. If I merely used Twitter or Facebook as promotional portals, I wouldn’t really be able to connect with people who read posts. An auto-tweet takes social interaction out of the equation.
  4. Would I be okay with people retweeting my posts without reading them? To be honest, no. I would prefer it if they actually read the post, felt a connection with it and then chose to share it with their followers or friends.
  5. Reading every blog on my blogroll becomes practically impossible in a given week. There are days that I go without reading any blogs at all. Other days I find myself reading 15 on the trot. I like this uncertainty a lot and if a post speaks to me, I immediately share my gratitude- in the form of a retweet.
  6. As we evolve as bloggers, it compels me to have to say this. Good writing must be appreciated. Great writing must be applauded. Incredible writing deserves to be shared. As writers and bloggers, we must strive for excellence in what we do. We ought not to be content with hastily written posts;  or at the very least, write but review them before publishing.

So, there you have it. Going forward, if you see your post shared, retweeted, pinned or ‘Liked’ via my social media profiles, you can be sure that I mean what I say.

What’s your take on this?

Do you auto-tweet or share posts on social media?

Comment with Facebook

75 thoughts on “Sharing the love- Why I stopped it

  1. Indeed.

    As for the continuous sharing, I am a bit divided on that. Depending on the content and the focus, you can reach different folks. I can write one on parenting, one on blogging and one fiction piece and share on the trot. Each post has a different audience 🙂 So not all will necessarily be read by the same people.
    Shailaja recently penned this post Soulful Sundays- Murphy’s LawMy Profile

  2. I got now how people just keep on RTing within seconds of somebody publishing his/her post.

    I totally agree with you!
    In fact, all of the posts are properly scanned by me before i RT them…mostly I comment on them before I share with the audience.

    I am strictly against excessive sharing, you need to give your audience some space too! And how come one can share every few minutes and expect people to read their work!

  3. Great post! I never RT a blog post I haven’t read. And I have wondered the same thing about people including that in their bios. (What is a blind RT if not an endorsement? Otherwise, why not include a comment like: “Disagree with this tweet! RT…” or just not RT at all?) I could see, however, that automation would make sense for an online publication that has reporters whose automated blog posts get RTed automatically. I’m following you now! Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

  4. thanku @shailaja. What you wrote makes sense to me.! Also for the fact, that, i just saw that you have shared my post.. and hence i go back to the point 6 …”incredible writing” needs to be shared. That was a good motivational statement made by you. Now i can rest in peace. Atleast one post of mine is Incredible for atleast one person. Thanku! U made my day …oops evening? 😛

  5. I really identify with number 6. I feel exactly the same. In a way for me, it’s about being authentic with yourself as well. I will not publish a post simply to publish a post or write hastily just to get something, anything, out there. I really want to write because I love to write. Of course this is not to say my every post is amazing but if I do publish it it is because it says what I want it to say. I know my own mind and can feel when my writing is “right” and honest. If it isn’t for me, it’s simply not worth it.

    I look forward to reading more here. 🙂

  6. I didn’t know there was such a thing as Twitterfeed! Haha, I do now. I don’t particularly have a social media presence either..which sometimes results in this question: “Who exactly is reading my blog????!!”. But I don’t really mind that. 🙂 (Yes, this also means I only “like” posts if I really do like them.)

  7. Hmmm! So that’s where some of your tweets vanished!

    Yes, it makes sense of course that you read a post before sharing it instead of doing so blindly. That is, after all, true appreciation, imo.
    You know, there are many posts that I’ve enjoyed reading but I always forget to share posts, even if I really really like them and so completely, unbelievably agree with the thoughts of the author. That’s wrong, I need to change that. On the other hand, if a headline interests me, I RT it and come back to read it later – this sort of acts like a reminder. I usually do this for writers whose posts I trust will be good.

    I used to use FB only to share my posts, but then, as you’ve pointed out, that’s rather sad. So lately, I’ve been trying hard to interact more, at least drop a “Like” if i like something – remember I told you I cleaned out my friends list completely – this is so that I see the feed/notifications only from those who matter and I can interact with them.

    As for the RTs not being endorsements, well, you know how some people incessantly RT someone only to get their attention (so that they follow them) or to get the attention of others on their TLs, so that they follow the person being RTd? In that sense, if I take my own example my RTs are not strictly speaking “endorsements” because, if I RT a tweet I find funny, then it being funny is the only reason I am RTing it – not so that others can go follow the person – I am not selling the OP.

    Oh, and also – thank you for introducing me to Twitterfeed!! 😀

    1. Can I be forgiven for replying this late? 😉 So yes, it’s a tricky thing. Some bloggers still do it and it does wonders for their traffic. On the other hand, I may not be comfy sharing on a topic that does not resonate with me. If it’s a choice between a handful of bloggers who read my posts and leave genuine comments over many who flit by, I will choose the former.
      Shailaja recently penned this post Soulful Sundays- Murphy’s LawMy Profile

  8. I totally agree with these points and follow the same. If I like it, I share it, it’s as simple as that. Though reading/commenting through different devices restricts sharing at the moment.

  9. Now that explains why posts were no longer being shared by you. That, and your missing comments 😛
    Just kidding. I don’t autoshare, I share if I read and I like them. Simple.

    1. Yes, I knew you would figure it out ultimately 😛 As for the missing comments, I do apologise. It’s been crazy! I am just getting around to replying to comments here and I haven’t caught up with comments on my other blog yet from last week! Sigh…

  10. The best part about blogging for me is the fact that we make our own rules as we go along. I no longer buy into the must-dos of blogging!

    While I am fine if other people don’t share my work – I’d rather autoshare select blogs on Twitter, than not share anyone else’s work. It makes me smile when I see some bloggers’ Twitter feed and FB profiles full of their own posts.

    Of late, I don’t share my posts on my FB profile page, but share on my blog’s page and in the groups I am active in.

    But like I said, to each her own, as long as we’re all having fun!

    1. Yes I think that is the beauty of blogging or pretty much any aspect of life, isn’t it Corinne? The fact that we make up our own rules as we go along and see how it plays out in our situations.

      I did toy with the idea of keeping some bloggers on my Twitterfeed, but realised I would not be able to really do justice to the handful that I would pick. Plus not being able to actually read the posts I had auto-shared was beginning to weigh on my mind.

      Currently I do share my parenting posts to my FB profile page and a smattering of posts from here because I don’t blog that often on my other blog. This way, I hope not to clutter the news feed of my friends.

      You did say one thing very well- as long as we are having fun, that’s what matters 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

        1. Yes and that’s pretty much how Twitterfeed works, doesn’t it? To be honest, I would have no problem doing this for purely technical-advice based blogs such as Michelle’s because they are blogging tips and tricks, which can benefit a lot of folks out there.

          Where I find myself thinking about it is the personal blogs which are largely opinion-based. Now, there’s a 80:20 chance that I may not share the opinion of that blogger on a topic, no matter what good friends we are offline. But I do love a good debate and this is always good to engage in, because it widens our thinking 🙂

  11. I don’t have any automatic settings to re-tweet, mostly because I’m lazy…So when I re-tweet it’s because I’m on the post, reading it… and what you say makes sense…at the end of the day it depends on individuals I guess..And I have never given so much thought to everything about blogging except writing and reading, you have made me wonder Shailaja..Looks like I need to ponder!

    1. Ha ha ha Naba. You’re cute, you know that? 😉 I always overthink everything, don’t you know that? 😀 I suggest you don’t worry too much about all of this, as you are doing just fine in terms of blogging, writing, reading and sharing. Of course, if you REALLY want to ponder, give me a call. We can ponder together 😀

  12. I have not made any such settings for auto retweet , mostly because I’m lazy to make these settings…So, when I retweet it’s when I’m on the blog post, reading…and yes what you say makes sense, absolutely!

  13. And here I was thinking if that is something “you are supposed to do”. Although I have been on Twitter for over a year, I seriously don’t know the “rules and regulations” per se, that you Andre supposed to follow. It’s so confusing sometimes. Thanks for the timely post. Also if you could tell me how to tweet a blog post that we have liked, it would be great!
    Thanks in advance!
    I like the straightforward way in which you present things 🙂

    1. Hey Uma 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Typically, if it is a WordPress blog, like this one, the post at the bottom would have the various social media buttons. So, in my case, it says ‘ Share this’ followed by all the buttons. If you click on
      ‘twitter’, it shares the post to your Twitter timeline, so your followers would be able to see it.

      Let me know if you have any other queries 🙂

  14. I agree with you on the retweet thing. How can it NOT be an endorsement? At least to some degree.
    And as for following people on twitter… my rule of thumb is, when they follow me, I look at their profile, if the first two scrolls include more retweets than their own thoughts, I’m probably not going to follow you, because it would seem that all you are is a bot or some attention hungry parasite who just spews out what others say. That annoys me. Even if it is me they are retweeting.

    Great article.

    1. Oh don’t get me started on the weird people who follow you on Twitter! I follow someone only to get an auto-generated direct message saying, ‘Follow my blog. I am awesome’ or something equally crude! Separating those from the trolls is painful enough as it is.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Todd 🙂

  15. Shailaja, this is such a timely post as you know we discovered Twitter feed almost at the same time….:)
    I had been wondering about the tweets I have been doing but I will be continuing with it but would be deleting a few, especially those that I have come to realize as ‘fair weather friends’
    For the rest I want to continue with my automatic feed because they are bloggers I have come to find like minded or those who are thought provoking writers.

    So its time to trim the flab…but I even though I may not be able to read all of the posts but I find it easier to pickup posts to read from there.
    At times the reply to a tweet makes me go to a post and read it.

    Also it a way to be connected and I find it so much better than bloglovin to follow blogs.

    I think doing an RT for a blogger you like is perfectly ok, not everyone will like what I share but that’s ok too.
    Its my feed.
    I think a few people have unfriended me for it but I am fine with it.
    It is much better than sharing the insane scoops, quotes, tests and film star posts most people do on their feeds.

    1. I agree with you that it is a great way to know that a blogger has published a new post, Indy. I also agree that for some bloggers, I still feel compelled to keep it on. The only reason I have removed them all now is because I want it to be fair. I didn’t know people would unfriend you over removing them from their Twitterfeed! How childish!

      As for me, I feel honoured that you think my posts are worth an auto-tweet 🙂 Bloglovin’ and e-mail plus WP Reader work fairly well for me in terms of being updated when blogs are updated. So I think I will go with this for now. But I am very happy that you weighed in with your honest views, Indepreet. Thank you so much! <3

  16. True… Sometimes I feel the pressure of RTing just because it seems to be the trend. Not all visitors leave comments which also makes me wonder whether they actually read whole write up or just RT but I too believe in meaningful like comment and share

    1. There are times I don’t get time to leave a comment but I do ‘like’ the post to indicate that I have read it. At other times I read, leave a comment. The days I love the post, I make sure to leave a comment and RT the post. Meaningful comments take time and that may result in fewer visitors. But I guess that’s a price we pay 🙂

  17. I had discovered twitterfeed during AtoZ, but stayed away due to the same reasons. For one, RTs are endorsements. But more importantly I would like to read what I share. During AtoZ, I shared a lot of content which I did not necessarily love, but I shared anyway, as I thought that it was what people had to do during challenges. Now I know better and share only what I truly liked reading. I also try to add a personalised note while sharing, but due to twitter character count, it is not always possible, so I settle with ‘Read & Share’ or ‘Check this out’.

    1. Agree with you Shantala. It’s okay though to learn as you go and the A-Z always does get overwhelming with the RTs so you wouldn’t be alone in that. As for the character count in Twitter, it is easily rectified now with the ‘Quote Tweet’ option. You can RT a post using that option and get the full 140 characters to add your comment now 🙂

  18. Haven’t used it. I don’t think I will use twitter feed for the very reasons that you mention. If I share a post on Twitter or FB, it’s only after I read it, and only if I love it that much.

  19. Now that’s some food for thought for all of us. I never auto tweet or retweet, as that’s unfair in my mind. I tweet and share when I like a post and I want my twitter followers to read some good stuff. Like you I don’t share on FB or G+ with almost the same reasons of cluttering news feed. I find twitter better to share posts and with effective hash tags, I have seen the readership grow.

    On side note – I will now be watchful of your tweets and see whether you liked what I wrote or not 🙂
    Always so much to learn from you Shailaja!

    1. Twitter is a great way to share posts, no doubt about it whatsoever. I have come to realise though that using it as a good networking tool is better than using it as a mere re-sharing tool. We can build good conversations, engage effectively with fellow bloggers and network with like-minded individuals if we took the time to do it.

      As always you are too kind, Parul. I am still learning as I go 🙂

  20. I am totally with you on this. I can never do any automatic retweets or automatic shares. No matter how much I like the blogger. I would personally prefer someone to RT my post after they have read and liked it. I do the same. Besides an excess of RTs shows a lack of attention and can get boring to your followers. Though, social media engagement is quite time consuming, I’d rather err on the side of underengagement than do something that does not gel with me. A timely post, my dear.

    1. Yes, the excessive RTs seem rather tedious and I realised how people must have felt when they came upon my timeline and saw the same thing. I now take my time, pick the posts I want to read, share the ones I really like and feel gratified at the end of the day. For after all, isn’t that what life is about? To be happy with one’s choices 🙂

  21. I know you via your writings and blog. So, when I see Shailaja has shared something.. I probably go read it even if I wouldn’t otherwise… Retweet, like, shares.. are for connections..feedback..to know who read and most times choosing from the lot…. or that’s how I take them 🙂 Don’t auto anything for the reasons you have mentioned 🙂

    1. Shashank, you just raised the bar for my blogging and sharing a whole lot more, you know that? 🙂 To know that someone reads what I write or share because it is me puts a whole lot of faith in the fact that I must be sharing good stuff. So the onus is even stronger that I share only quality stuff from here on. Thank you for that vote of confidence!

  22. Totally agree Godma. Sometimes when my post gets immediately RTed I know the person hasn’t read it. I would much rather have people sharing my posts only if they have read them and want to share them. And I would like to do the same too.

  23. As you might have noticed (or not) right from the start of blogging, I have been very, very, very selective about sharing others’ posts. I am almost certain this has had some negative consequence in terms of reduced readership for my blog. Bu that’s fine by me. What matters to me is that I must try, as much as possible, to be honest with myself. I only share something that really, I mean, really speaks to me on some level. Though I read and comment on many blogs on a weekly basis, as a way to support my fellow bloggers/writers. I even don’t mind reading/commenting on fellow bloggers’ posts even though those bloggers never visit me; this whole notion of recirprocity is over-rated and rather silly if one really cares for and wants to support quality writing and writing that is meaningful and thought-provoking in some way, I think. But when it comes to sharing….unless I can connect with a piece of writing on a much deeper level – on any plane – emotional, intellectual etc, – I don’t share. Lately, I have started a bit of twitter, but there too I only RT very, very selectively.

    1. I couldn’t agree more 🙂 When I see a share.. (be it mine or a post of other blogger) I at once know it has the content that I shouldn’t miss or will reach me for it has already reached the bloggers I read 🙂 The connection with writing is what counts.. the rest doesn’t 🙂

    2. I agree with you, Beloo. I think the need to share , like anything else, must stem from within. It must compel you enough to share the words of someone who writes well and who deserves to be read. I am not much for the idea of mutual comments myself, if you’ve noticed. I do try and visit those who have visited me, more as a token of respect. If what they write resonates with me, I am doubly glad and share it too. As with anything else, this too is a process of evolution. I had to go through this to realise that it wasn’t right for me 🙂

  24. Thankfully i didnt discover twitterfeed. I have been seeing many folks who use it, feeling a bit jealous of the no. Of RT some got. BUT I do it the old way. Read, like, comment, Share.

    1. Yes it is actually a great tool, but I think given where I am emotionally right now with blogging, this decision feels right. I feel better connected to bloggers when I leave a heartfelt comment or tweet than an auto-share.

  25. hmmm…interesting thoughts! I’m really not too savvy with all the social media stuff, I love WP the best 🙂 But I do think that a Twitter with only retweets shows a lack of personal attention and is far less interesting than original thoughts.

    1. WP is the best, to be very honest. The likes and reblogs (had just one) and Freshly Pressed (That one, never!) are all pretty cool. Social media engagement takes time and can actually impact blog reading time too. I love reading blogs so need to work out a better blog:social media ratio 🙂

    1. Technically, if it is a site on writing prompts or tips then it is fine, I suppose. For personal blogs, which made up about 95% of my Twitterfeed, I found that I was sharing posts even without agreeing with them. That didn’t feel right.

  26. I agree completely. In any case i’m far more reticent when it comes to sharing posts, including my own. When I do, it always is something I have liked or agree with and I almost always tag specific people who I think would like the post.

      1. These are people I know – siblings, relatives, friends. I know their interests, I know what they would like to read and hence tag them. And I’m selective so I’m sure they enjoy what I ‘send’ them.

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