BOSTON (CBS) – Twitter is out with it’s list of the most-retweeted posts of 2017. And they tell a story about who we are as a society.

Thanks to the media’s obsession with twitter – a preoccupation shared by the President of the United States – you hear an awful lot about the social media service. But before I tell you why I found the just-released list of most retweeted tweets of 2017 so interesting, let’s add some perspective.

Only 21 percent of all Americans ever use Twitter, and the single biggest chunk of them, 36 percent, are under 29 years old. So with that in mind, maybe it isn’t surprising that the year’s most-retweeted tweet was from this Nevada high-school kid who asked Wendy’s how many retweets he’d need to win a year’s supply of chicken nuggets.

They told him 18 million. The more than three million he racked up proved to be enough.

That showed how Twitter can be a fun toy for the young and young at heart. But consider some of the others who made the most-retweeted list.

Tweets soliciting donations to help the flooding victims in Houston drew seven-figure retweets, as did signer Ariana Grande’s heartbroken tweet after terrorists massacred fans at one of her concerts.

And the popularity of empathy was demonstrated in the more than 1.7 retweets of this picture and Nelson Mandela quote tweeted by President Obama after the Charlottesville neo-Nazi march.

And guess which notorious tweeter didn’t even make the top ten retweet list?

President Trump’s photoshopped attack on CNN was his most popular tweet of the year, but it seems there’s a limited market for sophomoric taunting.

Twitter sometimes brings out the worst in humanity.

But this list reminds us of how the worst must compete for exposure with the best in us.

Talk back to me via email at, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.


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