I borrow the title to this post from a recent Jonathan Fields blog entry, Please Don’t Tweet This. Most of us have been there, mainly in social (instead of corporate) scenarios, where something we say or do gets tweeted by one of our overzealous friends or acquaintances. For many of these moments, I believe one’s reaction could settle for “no harm, no foul”. Outside of our friend and family circles, however, tweeting bits and pieces of a speaker’s or presenter’s statements can be frowned upon.
The idea behind warning your audience to not share on Twitter what they are about to hear (or have just heard) from you, according to Fields, is related to a shift in self-perception, context and credibility:
“authenticity and truth have created a dynamic where people are increasingly scared to be transparent and speak the truth, because of the risk of being taken “the wrong way by the wrong people.”
Always on, all the time doesn’t always work when your goal is the [sic] cultivate an environment where participants in a conversation feel safe enough to get real.”
A certain sense of temporary privacy, within the confines of a public discussion, and the need to self-regulate one’s attention comes to mind. Michael Martine, who commented on this post, argues that “if you’re “reporting” then you’re not really listening or engaged” and adds: “Nothing ruins the experience for me more than feeling like I have to offer a live report on events”.
Other type of reporting scenarios are more random, like the case of the users that, according to Techcrunch, “unwittingly live-tweeted the raid on Bin Laden” while in Pakistan. Secrecy is a privilege, more often than not, but I’m sure we’ll agree on the need of information that should be kept on the down low.
Depending on where you stand with “no Twitter” policies and attentive listening, you will benefit from what Fields states (in the comments section of his post): “[…] the reason I sometime institute social media bans has nothing to do with privacy, it has everything to do with attention. There’s simply no way to simultaneously report an experience and fully experience it simultaneously.”
Photo by Robert Scoble