[box border=”full”]Subtweet: noun 1) a tweet that is clearly intended as a message to one person but is not officially directed @AUser. The tweets often but not always include the word “you.”[/box]

Is there something about Twitter that makes people behave horribly? There must be, because many Moorestown Friends students are acting like it. Maybe it’s the format? It’s next to impossible to make a well-reasoned argument in 140 characters or less. That’s one reason it devolves into personal insults. It’s easier to vent anger as soon as it pops into your head. As a result Twitter is filled with arrant personal insults. Before Twitter, if at some point you “hated” someone, or they had wronged you in some way, you kept it mostly to yourself. Now it can go out to the world, and you can scream every insecurity, hate, feeling and emotion from the rooftops of Twitter.


It’s as if all social standards have been thrown out the window and people are free to insult one another. However, no one ever really says who they are talking about, it’s just expected that that person will know. As an example, someone tweeted, “You really are pathetic.” That message was clearly intended for one person, but the identity of that person is mostly unknown. Even if you don’t tag a person, everyone knows you said it, and many people know who the message was intended for. I guess if you tag someone in a tweet then they can respond directly, and a confrontation is not what people want. Apparently it’s somehow less mean if you say it indirectly.

There is another form of insulting people while on Twitter: making fun of someone who doesn’t have a Twitter. You can post their name, pictures of them, whatever you want, assured they won’t find out you are publicly shaming them. Often times it’s many people, even an entire class, who decide it’s socially acceptable to mock someone. Most often it’s in no way things that could be considered even remotely worth making fun of someone for. For instance, an actual example: literally calling someone annoying for eating a banana. Really. Who cares? It’s not funny anymore. It’s a reflection of your own character and far less on whomever you’re insulting or trying to make fun of. Keep it to yourself; at the very least don’t post it online for everyone to see. In general, just tone it down.

Subtweeting is often like arguing loudly in a public place. If the message was intended for one person, and he or she is supposed to know that, then why not say who that person is? Is it less mean if you don’t use his or her name? Why not do something a bit mature and talk to someone privately about whatever issues you have with him or her? Maybe because if you want to tell someone something, and actually directly message that person, then you would have to be somewhat civil. It’s a lot easier to tell someone to shut up or quit being so defensive than to explain why he or she should.It should be noted that recently, a new Twitter account named @MFSLove has sprung up to combat the bullying, posting positive tweets about members of the MFS community every day.

Note: I’m very much aware of the glaring irony in this article. Yes, I am expressing my displeasure towards people who complain about people without saying who they are by complaining about people and not saying who they are. This is a school newspaper; I’m not allowed to call people out by name. This article is a general message intended for the large amount of people who do this, not a message for one person.


[twitter_follow username=”JayCub__” language=”en” align=”left”]

[twitter_follow username=”MFSLove” language=”en” align=”left”]

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