I was reminded of a very important fact the other day. The importance of taking the time to get the whole story before acting on a situation. I had a story happen in a meeting with my new agent from an insurance company that I have dealt with for many years. The previous agent in my small town retired, and the new agent was sent to contact all the existing customers.
I was not exactly thrilled with what I heard, in the agent trying to sell me things I did not feel I needed. I mentioned that Dave Ramsey suggested that whole life insurance was a bad investment. Then the agent said this…
Just had a local insurance agent tell me @DaveRamsey was one of that company’s biggest whole life clients. That doesn’t pass the smell test.
— Brent Lacy (@brentlacydotcom) July 30, 2014
I tweeted the story out to @daveramsey. I thought nothing more of it. Dave did an MT or modified tweet. I did not know what an MT was( like many people on twitter), so I looked it up. Here is what the Twitter Glossary says :
Similar to RT, an abbreviation for “Modified Tweet.” Placed before the retweeted text when users manually retweet a message with modifications, for example shortening a Tweet.
Here is what Dave’s tweet looked like:
MT @brentlacydotcom: Just had a local ins. agent tell me @DaveRamsey was one of that company’s biggest whole life clients// He is a liar — Dave Ramsey (@DaveRamsey) July 30, 2014
Wow. Part of my everyday life shared with almost 600,000 people. Very neat. However, in the short few minutes to come, I realized that how the Modified Tweet was worded, It wasn’t clear WHO Dave was calling a liar, whether I was in support or attacking Dave. I got a few nasty tweets hurled in my direction. One of the nicer things I was called was “an internet vulture”. It died down when someone shared the concept “hey, check out the original tweet”, which tells the whole story.
Moral of the story. Twitter is 140 characters. It is very hard to get someone’s meaning and heart in that little slice of information. When shared by others, it is even harder. Take a breath, and try to see the whole story. Reach out to the person before you assume things. You may find your assumption is opposite of reality.