I beg to differ

Why I Hate your Twitter Feed: Subtweet Culture

on May 17, 2014

“Subtweeting” is a passive-aggressive form of ranting/complaining about other people (without mentioning their name) that takes place on Twitter. And it makes me lose faith in humanity.

In the beginning of the year my English class made Twitter accounts because Mr. Z does a lot of online activities such as #litin6, #showyourwork, online class discussions, and we can get participation points for posting on the class hashtag #zapfv. In the beginning, my Twitter was strictly for school use. Eventually, my friends found my profile. They followed me, and with no reason not to, I followed them back. This was when I got my first-hand experience with subtweeting.

You might be thinking, “if you don’t like someone’s tweets, then don’t follow them!” and that would be an easy solution. But the truth is that some of these people are my good friends in real life. The sad reality is that sometimes, the only way I know what is going on in their lives (if we don’t talk often) is by seeing their social media updates. When I first saw subtweets by a close friend, I grew concerned and asked her what was wrong and how I could help. It so happened that there was nothing I could do to help her because her problem involved someone else. So the next times I saw subtweets by any people, I dismissed them as useless and attention-seeking. It’s more of a boy-crying-wolf situation than an I-don’t-care-about-you mindset.

People turn to Twitter to rant about personal things they would rather share with the world for attention than discuss and resolve with their families and friends. This baffles me. Why scorn your enemies who are on Twitter and can see your complaints about them instead of just saying it all to their face? It only fuels hatred and starts “twit fights” (but that’s a story for another day). You say “HA!” but you didn’t show them at all.

Admittedly, blog posts (like this one!) and other forms of reflective media could be considered massive subtweets because they are inspired by the people and situations in our lives. But most of the videos, op-ed articles, poems, and blogs I have read ignite valuable consideration and make me ponder. Seeing subtweets makes me sad. Plain sad. Expressing your frustration at the world once in a while is one thing, but using twitter only to competitively deride your foes in 140 character-bursts is sad. That frustration and anger can be used for to express something valuable – songwriting, poem-penning, or mural painting. You have so much potential, and believe or not, anger can increase your creativity. Don’t waste your days stabbing your keyboard for immediate relief.


2 responses to “Why I Hate your Twitter Feed: Subtweet Culture

  1. Umbreen says:

    I totally agree! I especially dislike it when people do it on Facebook because, more often than not, they post long paragraphs about the unmentioned person. It looks like that person is just trying to get attention or sympathy from other people. It would be much more effective for the upset person to just rant about it face-to-face with a close friend and let their real, in-the-flesh friends help them out or give them advice or whatever they need. And let’s be honest: nobody else on Facebook cares. That sounds bad, but it’s the truth and I like to say things as they are.

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