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.
fake. fucking fake. fake
You’re so awesome. I wanna be as awesome as you when I grow up, or when you do, whichever happens first.
[…] “[N]ounal phrases referring to surreal compositions of […]
[…] an emerging subculture on Twitter held together by a mix of brutal personal honesty and surrealism.° While he would later claim this post as an attempt to troll the community, the name […]
[…] of this. That someone was Sebastian Benthall, a PhD student at UC Berkeley. Benthall published a blog post where he titles this vein Weird Twitter, highlighting a general pattern of forms. However, the […]