Expat Magazine

What They Really Mean on Twitter

By Expatmum @tonihargis
When it all kicks off on Twitter, it’s interesting to watch the poor souls who are punching above their weight. Obviously, although tempting, one doesn’t feed the trolls, but it’s interesting to engage with antagonists occasionally, if only to kill time while the kettle boils. Such is the entrenchment on Twitter as a whole, that it’s usually pointless to attempt a civilized discussion with someone holding a different opinion. Every once in while however, hope triumphs over experience and in I wade.
Hoo boy.
I’m not sure if these Tweeters are all working from the same manual, but there are definitely some tired old responses being lobbed about and, b****r me, if they all don’t employ the same game plan too. It usually starts with:
1. Fake News – “I don’t like your facts so I’m closing my eyes, sticking my fingers in my ears and shouting “la la la la la”.
When faced with yet more incontrovertible evidence of said fact, he, she or bot moves on to:
2. Educate yourself – which really means “because I haven’t a clue and can’t possibly add facts or sources to my comments, I’ll just pretend I know more than you. If you’re female and I’m male, I might add a ‘sweetie’ or ‘hun’ to put you in your place”.
Then, when faced with yet another Tweet that makes too much sense or asks a really, really hard question like “Where did you get those stats from?”, they move on to:
3. Insult du jour – Obviously they don’t write “insult du jour” but these insults change on a daily basis. It’s entirely possible that they subscribe to a list somewhere, in the manner of “a word a day”.
Of course there are many other words and phrases that are deployed when these hapless Tweeters are backed into that tight corner of ignorance and denial, and they’re always code for something else:
Hater – “You don’t agree with me so you must hate me and everyone else in the world.” If they’re into Taylor Swift they’ll hashtag “Haters gonna hate” and sometimes add a GIF in there.
No, He’s the Bully – “I can’t defend the bullying done to him so I’ll blame him for drawing attention to it.” This one was particularly popular a few weeks ago when Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg was taunted on Twitter by right wing celeb Laura Ingraham. With one Tweet from Hogg, listing her corporate sponsors, the Twiitersphere lit up with calls for them to drop her, which they duly did. In certain quarters, seventeen year old Hogg was the real bully.
Elitist – “I don’t think I agree with you but anyway, you’re deliberately trying to confuse me with your education and fact-i-ness.”
Virtue-signaling – “I’m actually not really sure what this means but if I join it up with “elitist” it sounds like I’m one of the people.”
I’m occupying a space in your head – “I haven’t a hope of winning this point so I’m just going to pretend I’m really bugging you. I’ll keep coming back too, even though you’ve now ignored me for three days.”
Whining – “You dare to criticize someone/something I like so I’ll try to make you sound like a toddler.” “Whining” was the word Laura Ingraham used on student David Hogg, which backfired on her, big time.
Friend – “I would never be your friend and I’m going to try to patronize you.”
Truth hurts – “I can’t refute your points or back up my own, but in my head you’re stung and silenced by my Tweets. “
Whatever – “I’m so confused I’ll just say this, with an emoji for good measure.”
You should respect X, Y Z – “Respect the same things that I do.”
Totalitarian – What you support is going to limit me doing what I want to do, so do it my way.”
Quote me a couple… – “I can’t be bothered to learn about the topic. Please do my homework for me.”
Don’t you dear correct my spelling – “…even though I went after someone’s lack of education/intellect in my original Tweet. “
ALL CAPS – “It’s 3am, I’ve had far too much coffee and the feds are closing in.”

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