Field notes and PSA: Weird Twitter

by Sebastian Benthall

For some time I’ve been following an emerging subculture on Twitter. I have referred to it occasionally as “stoner Twitter poets”, but as it attains consciousness of itself as a phenomenon, it has given itself a name: weird twitter.

Weird twitter posts tend to be of the following forms:

  • A brutally sincere statement of personal perspective, often with philosophical and spiritual sentiment, but just as often profane
  • nounal phrases referring to surreal compositions of objects
  • “sext:” followed by a declaration of attraction that is often only peripherally erotic (to humorous effect)
  • norm-building posts on appropriate twitter behavior, the state of weird twitter, and discussion of ‘favstars’

Interestingly, while Facebook “Likes” are generally derided, the “weird twitter” community holds the “favstar” in high esteem, as are pyramids and bots (especially ‘spam’ bots, like Horse Ebooks, which are used as source material for aleatoric poetry). And, though romance and attraction are frequently discuessed, “weird twitter” discourse is almost completely devoid of explicit sexual content, despite its otherwise transgressive qualities.

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