Retweeting and how it's killing confidentiality

Say I’m having a Twitter conversation with a friend. This conversation is NOT private, but we’re still having a one on one conversation… everyone else can listen if they want.

That if they want is key, though, because on Twitter, for the most part, you’re not going to have anyone stalking you that much… at least it doesn’t feel like it.

Now in this one on one conversation, let’s say your friend shares some brilliant piece of info with you. You want to share it with your followers (if for no other reason than to make yourself look cool for having such amazing info). So you RT it.

I’d guess that if you’re like most people on Twitter, you’d think nothing of it. I know I didn’t when I did it just a moment ago.

What happens, though, when you take that mindset offline?

You and your friend are talking in a one on one conversation, your friend shares some amazing info, and you immediately think to share it with others. So right after the conversation, you spill the info to another friend.

Now take that a step further… from offline back online. Your friend shares the info in a one on one conversation, and you immediately want to share it with others, so you pop out your cell and tweet it to your 1,000 followers.

It all happens within a minute or two. If the info’s that amazing, some of your followers might even spread it further to their own followers.

Now what if that info should have stayed private? What if your friend wanted it to stay between the two of you?

Uh oh.

I’m not saying the whole Twitter brainwashing is bad. Maybe we could use a little more openness and speed for spreading ideas.

But Twitter is changing our mindset about private info and even just info that should remain between friends. In fact, it might be deleting those categories altogether.

Of course, even if you’re not on Twitter, you probably already guessed that. But what’s fascinating to me are the habits we learn within the system, like the habit of immediately sharing without reservation, and how those habits easily transfer offline.

Our online habits are affecting our offline habits now instead of the other way around. So which is more real, the online reality or the offline reality?