What is Weird Twitter? This is a question that has been asked dozens of times across the Internet. As per usual with anything cool, sites like The Daily Dot set to answering this question first. Then the Huffington Post got on board. Then finally somebody told Time about it, and we all got really bummed out because we knew that the word “millennial” would appear 40,000 times in whatever piece they ended up running on the topic, and now our Mom is going to ask about it next time she calls for iPhone tech support.
It is not my intention to define Weird Twitter, comment on its impact on the culture, or interrogate its origins. BuzzFeed already did it better than anyone else, so if you want to know the Weird Twitter origin story, read the brilliant oral history courtesy of John Herman and Katie Notopolous. It is impossible to define Weird Twitter just as it is impossible to define any artistic movement, and yes I do consider Weird Twitter an artistic movement. To me, Weird Twitter is at its best when it is subverting – or trolling – the way we are supposed to behave on the Internet. When these tweeters assault brands, mock the hip speechifying of their contemporaries, or take on the lazy smugness of Internet writing, they are at their funniest and most cathartic.
Weird Twitter is not traditional comedy. Weird Twitter isn’t about “What’s the deal with …” observational humor; Weird Twitter isn’t one-liners about politicians and celebrities; Weird Twitter isn’t in-joke references of current trends. Weird Twitter is absurd, subversive, and often keenly self-aware. Weird Twitter’s jokes are as much about form – niche, brief, Internet-speak – as they are about content. Weird Twitter shares something with the jaded one-liners that come from accounts run by dudes who work for Funny or Die or write at Splisider, but it also shares something with post-modern installation art. Of course, as with any movement, the best way to define Weird Twitter is to show you the work of those who do it best. So, Here is A Survey of the Best and Weirdest of Weird Twitter.
Though, before I get started, let me say that if I have to choose a favorite definition for Weird Twitter, I choose one offered by @methadonna: “Weird Twitter is the business major and the art major hate-fucking.”