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Hashtag Subtweet

One of my favorite things about social media, blogging, and other areas of the internet where one can say virtually anything is the freedom it gives me to be uncensored and to air out my frustrations without running the risk of offending or harming anyone.  In theory anyway.  One of the bigger ways this is done by myself and many other people is by using the sometimes loved and often hated subtweet.  Let’s be honest; we all have at least one friend who tends to rub us the wrong way on a regular basis.  They can be frustrating and push you to the point where you have to say something.  Rather than confront them directly, a vague tweet can get that frustration out without offending the person.  Is it immature?  Sure, but it’s almost a guarantee that the person you’re referring to is hardly the picture of maturity themselves.  I also find it healthier to be a bit immature and calm as opposed to being 100% mature and 100% frustrated.

The thing about a subtweet is that it only has the power to offend you if you are either feeling guilty or actually are guilty of whatever behavior or characteristic is being referenced.  If someone posts a tweet about people who complain about their job and how sad they are, I’m likely going to feel a pang of guilt because I vent quite a bit about my job and my crazy coworkers.  If someone posts a tweet about being stuck up or being trashy, I feel nothing because it doesn’t apply to me.  I exploded last night over a handful of people posting about a character death on The Walking Dead (which I have yet to watch because Dexter is on at the same time, so it’s currently sitting on the DVR).  The only people it had the power to anger were those who let loose with show details in a careless manner.

If you are offended when I talk about dishonest people or shallow attention seekers, chances are you fit the description and are annoyed that it’s not going unnoticed.  If that is the case, why waste time being angry at me?  Perhaps your time is better spent looking in the mirror and trying to figure out what it is about your actions and personality that caused you to take my comment about liars as a personal attack.  The fact that you’re taking it personally is a clear sign that you’re aware of your fault(s).  I’m sorry that you’re frustrated about your transparency, but I’m not sorry for pointing out your flaw(s).  I’m not responsible for you feeling guilty about something, I’m not responsible for you instantly assuming you were the worthless person I was referring to, and I’m not responsible for you getting all kinds of cranky about it.

One interesting thing about subtweeting is how difficult it is to escape.  Even those who find it appalling, immature, and juvenile will do it now and then.  Whether they are complaining about habitual subtweeters or about something more specific, it’s almost a guarantee that somewhere on their timeline, you’ll find a vague complaint about a person or group of people that was posted out of frustration and with a little bit of hope that the right person would read it and take a hint.  It’s always funny to see a subtweet about how annoying and immature subtweeting is, but it goes to show you how easy it is to let one slip out of frustration.

I completely agree that it’s immature and can be very annoying.  It’s an obnoxious thing to do and doesn’t properly address any problem existing between the person making the statement and the person or people it affects.  That being said, it’s not a behavior I plan on stopping and it’s not one I will apologize for.  It’s incredibly therapeutic for me to be able to use Twitter as an outlet to vent about certain wastes of human life or about good people who sometimes do dumb things.  It also does not have the power to harm anyone unless they allow it to do so; I’m unaffected by someone’s comment about obnoxious people so long as I choose to ignore it or choose to decide that it does not apply to me.

One thing I find particularly hilarious is when I’ll make a comment about a less desirable personality trait with a certain person in mind and it ends up ticking off a completely different person that wasn’t even on my radar.  It happens more than it should, making me wonder why these people think they are always on my mind and are always the subject matter of my comments.  Do they really think they’re that important, or are they just feeling bad about their behavior and getting annoyed that what I say applies to them?  It’s even better when they first react, then go into “I don’t care” mode to try to play it off.  If you don’t care, why react at all?

A subtweet only has the power to hurt you if you give it permission to do so.  If you’re not cheating on your girlfriend, a comment about cheaters can’t hurt you and isn’t aimed at you.  If you’re not a drama queen, you have no reason to pay attention to tweets insulting people who are.  It’s embarrassingly simple.  By overreacting to subtweets, even if they are aimed at you, you’re only succeeding in drawing attention to yourself and giving everyone watching the impression that you are indeed guilty of the bad behavior referenced.

I’m not going to stop commenting on whoever I want to comment about, people in general aren’t going to stop subtweeting or posting cryptic things elsewhere, and we’re never going to find a way to stop getting offended over comments, regardless of whether or not they are directed at us.  The only sensible things to do are to either cut people out of your life, or when that isn’t possible, ignore them and honestly laugh off their nonsense.  Don’t post back “Oh, you’re so clever. #WhoCares” as it clearly shows you do care.  You have to stop caring and let their jabs fly over your head.  By not allowing them to affect you and by letting it breeze by you, you take away their power and you become the bigger person.

I’m not writing this from atop my high horse; I have engaged in petty subtweet wars and allowed comments from people to get under my skin.  I’m the first to admit that I’m guilty of certain bad behaviors.  That said, I’m not currently steaming mad because some dumbass is complaining on Twitter about people with kids always being too busy to hang out.  Sure, it applies to me, but is it worth caring about?  Do I really want to associate with someone who thinks I’d be a better friend if I dump my kid off at any place possible so I can hit the town and get drunk?  The best decision is to make these types of people invisible.  And with this blog, I officially make the worst offender of the above behavior an invisible and voiceless being.  You won’t be missed.

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About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on November 5, 2012, in Crazy People, Friends and/or Enemies and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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