John Dickerson is a correspondent for 60 Minutes. He is also a Contributing Editor to The Atlantic and the host of the Whistlestop podcast and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

What RTs Mean

Hi! Thanks for checking in. I didn’t really think people clicked on links in the Twitter profiles. I feel restored by your arrival here.

Anyway, when I Re-Tweet something it means one of the following things:

-Not what you think.

-Exactly what you think, based on our long association and friendship, which leads you to conclude that I agree with the underlying Tweet, or I don’t agree with it at all, but find it intellectually interesting. I am a writer because I think things are interesting. It is possible to find things interesting without selling your house and leaving your family to go on tour following the idea. Or, you might conclude, I hit the RT button by mistake.

-If the Tweet being re-published is about being kind, thoughtful, slow to judge, open to learning and joy then I probably agree with it. Unless I don’t for some quirky reason.

-The RT could also be a part of my quixotic attempt to get people to stop judging motives, open up their fellow-feeling, accept some basic foundation of common humanity or open up the window and feel the press of fresh air.

-Mostly, though, the RTs are an effort to get everyone to learn about Fundamental Attribution Errors.

7 thoughts on “What RTs Mean”

  1. I find this to be a really great response, thought process, and all around mindset for the “RT”. That, plus a point of proof that people follow links on Twitter (and extra proof that they will comment) made me want to comment 😊

    I have watched you on CBS This Morning. Used to see you on Face The Nation (though, to be honest, I tend to avoid Sunday poltical or any round table shows…never been my cup of tea). I happened across here via your link on Twitter (first time visiting your Twitter profile). Always interested in hearing ypur take and appreciate your writing and reporting style to bring hidden facts forward or breathe new life to old, forgotten, or overlooked facts.

  2. I’m a big fan. Watched you with admiration on Face the Nation and cbs this morning and now I’ll have to watch 60 minutes again. When you interviewed my fav John Prine played guitar with and sang Paradise I was blown away. When you said you sang Paradise to your babies tears streamed down my cheeks. I Recently discovered your podcasts as well, love them. Keep up the good work, it matters.

  3. Great explanation for what retweets mean to you, and my thoughts about my own retweets is similar. Additionally, my retweets are to disseminate information – so an information dessiminater, if you will.

  4. John,
    See where my curiosity got me? The link in your profile caught my eye. I am glad I am now here. If for no other reason, it gave you the chance to be a writer and let me be the reader.
    You are an incredibly underrated writer/storyteller. I finished thinking “ Wow, John Dickerson seems like he has a really good soul with a laidback, open, curious, welcoming, approach to ideas and people”.
    My day just got better, and now I’m off to Amazon to find one of your books.
    Keep up the good work.

  5. Am a huge fan, which means you are about 20 years from public recognition… if you have the patience to wait~! Miss your perspective in the morning…

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