Trust is obviously an important ingredient in any form of relationship. You trust your friends, partner, family and even employers to a certain level. Honestly, I can say I even trust my “enemies” to a certain extent – I trust that they will probably never change and will remain an “enemy”. With the introduction of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. we are opened up to an entire new network of relationships. Although most of these relationships are with people world-wide that you will never encounter, there is still some level of trust with most of them.
During Social Media Week in New York City, I had the opportunity to attend “Social Media and the Haiti Disaster.” This session (Side note: it was awesome) consisted of a panel of speakers discussing how social media, like twitter, impacted and helped with aid for the Haiti Disaster. Ann Curry, reporter for NBC and one of the panelists, brought up the topic of trusting your followers on twitter. She discussed how all too often people put uninformed information out to a global audience because they trust their followers. I found this topic really interesting since although we might not “know” all of our followers, we do have a relationship with them and therefore some level of trust.
It got me thinking about how much I trust all of my followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections. Do I retweet without reading, if so with which of the people I follow? Do I promote a blog post without reading it, if so why? It also got me thinking about how many of the people that follow me retweet my information or blog posts without researching.
Social Media is obviously on the rise. It is also the first source for most breaking news. The first pictures of the plane landing in the Hudson were on Twitter. The first reports of the Haiti disaster were on Twitter. It was also used as a tool to get aid to the people of Haiti. Twitter and Facebook were used as a platforms to find missing people during Haiti and now Chile and Hawaii.
But yesterday, when I saw the first report about Chile, I had to think “is this true?” It took me reading a bit before I considered retweeting. How many of you retweet without researching? Do you question the information put out there, or do you take it as true?
Educate yourself on every tweet put out there. Don’t assume a blog post is true. Find supporting facts, stories, and resources for everything. Today, we are privileged to have access to a global audience. Share your opinion and information, but always make sure you know what you are sharing is true. Retweet those you trust and look for information everywhere.