Question of the day: What is a subtweet? You probably know what a tweet is, and if you don’t, you’ve been living under a rock. But a subtweet. . . that’s a whole different animal. One of the great philosophical minds of our time, SubUrbanBruh, once attempted to briefly define the word “subtweet” on the “internet slang definition source” they call the Urban Dictionary as the following:
It”s the shortening of “subliminal tweet” which is directly referring to a particular person without mentioning their name or directly mentioning them and it basically indicates that the tweet in which the hashtag is used is a subliminal tweet. Basically, it”s talking about someone behind their back but sort of in their face on Twitter!
Ex. Man, I wish this girl would stop subtweeting about me and just say what she has to say directly. Triflin’! If only it were that simple. Some of us share this same vague understanding of one of the most obscure gestures of our time. Others have questioned the specific parameters, only to be met with more unknowns. Only a few of us have really cracked the code of what it means to craft 140 characters of passive aggression. While some people sit around all day contemplating elementary topics such as “What is the meaning of life?” or “Does God really exist?” here I sit, at the ChatterBlast office, taking on a much heavier question: “What does it truly mean to subtweet?” For those of you who are ready to learn, let me be your guide. But buckle up! It’s going to get a little bumpy. For anyone else who is unsure, proceed with caution. You may be better off reading something a little simpler like Derrida or Nietzsche. For many of us tweeters, Twitter is more than just a great place for information, inspiration and networking. It’s the perfect place to inform the world about every single moment that happens in our lives and every single thought that crosses our minds. With the flowing of this constant stream of personal information comes the full spectrum of emotions in short-form posts. Little subtweets jump out of that stream like fish waiting to be caught by their subjects. So let’s take one of these fish and gut it for inspection: This is a prime example of a subtweet. Let me tell you why:
- In the case of every subtweet, there is a subtweeter and a subtweetee. For this example, Adam is our subtweeter and Lady Gaga is our subtweetee.
- Every great subtweet must have its own double meaning, yet remain elusive. The subtweeter must aim to not only hit the subtweetee where it hurts, but also to make sure the tweet remains autonomous and entertaining as a general statement to the rest of his followers who are unaware of the twar (Twitter war).
Amateur subtweeters have been known to deliver subtweets that are a little too direct and immediately reveal their meaning to casino online all of their followers. Subtweets of this nature include the following: This amateur didn’t consider the specificity of what he was writing, and his subtweet backfired. He ultimately came
off as just plain aggressive, rather than passive aggressive (which is our goal). Going back to Adam’s tweet . . . Adam’s tweet not only got his point across as a critique of Gaga, but it is also able to act as a statement that stands alone. “I have an opinion about this subject. Here is how I feel.” This is something his followers can consider without even thinking about Gaga. Therefore, Adam is safe. Or is he? OH SNAP! It’s a full blown twar. Gaga saw the tweet, thought it was about her and delivered a half-baked subtweet back at 2:00AM. We all know who this one is about, but do we actually know that Adam’s was ever about her in the first place? We may never know, thanks to Adam’s spectacular subtweeting. Lady Gaga may have stirred up some unnecessary twension (Twitter tension), but if she was right, the subtweetee has become the subtweeter and vice versa. The cycle of the subtweet is complete. The point here is that the content of your message is key. Creating a meaningful (or a double-meaningful) subtweet in 140 characters can be difficult. That’s why it’s better to master the tweet before posting it as a public jab at your nemesis or ex online. Otherwise it can be easy to look petty or insecure (which the art of subtweeting usually tends to be). Using this guide will not only help to keep all parties entertained, but it will fulfill that incessant need to post about everything you think the world needs to know. Be creative. Keep it entertaining. Keep us on our toes. Written by Kyle Krajewski – Summer 2014 Intern