Think Before You Live Tweet

by Frank Roche on March 2, 2012

in Social Media

Psst. Psst. Psst.

Psst. Psst. Psst. Psst.

Psst. Psst. Psst.

I detest the live tweeting of events.

Speakers put hours, days, and weeks into their preparation at conferences. Meanwhile, certain attendees with their (questionably named) smart phones hack out 140-character “reports” about the talk.

WHILE THE TALK IS HAPPENING.

Can you imagine them reporting on a chess tournament?

First, they know almost nothing about chess.

Then, they start tweeting after the opening moves.

Ooh. They both moved their little guys two squares. (Um, that would be the Sicilian Defense.)

I never move my horsey like that. Horses are nice.

This speaker so doesn’t know how to smash those pawns with his castle.

I’m a chess guru and this Grand Master doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Um…yeah.

That’s why an article by Jason Fried titled Give It Five Minutes really made sense in this world of live tweeting. Jason says he was one to react too quickly to others’ ideas without thinking about them. But an encounter changed his way of thinking:

I was speaking at the Business Innovation Factory conference in Providence, RI. So was Richard Saul Wurman. After my talk Richard came up to introduce himself and compliment my talk. That was very generous of him. He certainly didn’t have to do that.

And what did I do? I pushed back at him about the talk he gave. While he was making his points on stage, I was taking an inventory of the things I didn’t agree with. And when presented with an opportunity to speak with him, I quickly pushed back at some of his ideas. I must have seemed like such an asshole.

His response changed my life. It was a simple thing. He said “Man, give it five minutes.” I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them. “Five minutes” represented “think”, not react. He was totally right. I came into the discussion looking to prove something, not learn something.

I say Think Before You Live Tweet. And if you can’t do that, start with the thinking part. It’s sadly missing too often.

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