Talking to @Carl_Bnntt About Simple Tweets with Human Elements
Carl Bennett, known on Twitter as @Carl_Bnntt, uses the platform to address a lot of different topics. For instance, he shares his knowledge of fine art, opines about the world’s obsession with sports, and never shies away from addressing mortality. When asked for information for a bio, Bennett simply responded he “has no family (deceased) to speak of and distributes Storage Wars revisionist literature.” Bennett also showed me three of his favorite tweets and told me a bit more about them, and we talked about the kinds of people he interacts with on Twitter and how tweeting can serve as a reminder of human error.
When I was a kid we'd race each other to find out who could compost quicker in a pile of leaves. My dead cousin won every time.
— @Carl_Bnntt (@Carl_Bnntt) November 14, 2014
Bennett: It took almost 24 years to write this but I feel that it efficiently pays tribute to all the wonderful memories I have of my dead cousin. He was more than just an arm sticking out of a leaf pile; he was my cousin, and he had a name.
Did it take very long for you to find your style/voice on Twitter?
No, my voice has been more or less the same for a ton of years. It used to be high pitched but that was a long time ago.
What do you think is the ratio of real-life friends to Internet friends you interact with on Twitter?
Well, each of them are 60ish% water so it’s hard to say what kind of hard numbers you’re dealing with.
Jenny you’re my friend now.
Why did I have a chain wallet with a condom in it when I was 12? I guess I just wasn't ready to start a family.
— @Carl_Bnntt (@Carl_Bnntt) May 7, 2013
This is a little more personal, you could even call it a confessional tweet. It felt very pure, I’ll even go as far as to say that I felt a great sense of pride after posting this one. I feel like it surves as a reminder to myself and others that I’am a human being and that I sometims make misstakes, but in the end, it’s what makes us, all human.
Some would argue that all writing and self expression have a human element; because a human is producing it, but I think that this tweet is even more human than usual.
Do you prefer writing tweets that are totally fictional/hypothetical or based on real things in your life?
I’m not sure I understand, I thought I made it clear that everything I write is real?
What are some of your favorite things to see on Twitter?
Right now it’s your smile Jenny. You have a beautiful and sincere smile in your photo.
I try to tell every woman I see to smile but some just won’t? I even followed a woman for 5 blocks telling her to smile and she acted like I didn’t exist? I just wanted her to smile. I must have told her 280 times. I was even tapping her on the shoulder—it’s really hard to get through to some people.
My passwords are strong yet sensitive.
— @Carl_Bnntt (@Carl_Bnntt) February 17, 2014
I really enjoyed this one, I think. It seems like it might be a play on words but it isn’t. I think that’s what I enjoyed most about it; that it seemed like something but it was something else. I think that in a way, we are all a lot like this tweet.
It lacks the family element that most of my tweets have, but it raises the same questions.
It takes the same risks as my other tweets but somehow the payoff is greater.
I think it’s deceptively simple; there’are only 5 words in the tweet, but, if you moved some letters around you could actually make a few more words. It’s like those refrigerator magnet word sets but you don’t have to use scissors to cut apart the letters to rearrange them.
I try to avoid using scissors as much as possible these days. I can never get my fingers in there right, so it’s difficult. It’is not that I’am avoiding an obstacle, so much as I’m thinking my way around it.
That’s what it is to be a tweeter, I think, or at least one of the human elements that compels a tweeter to search for real answers.
You write good short tweets! Like one word tweets sometimes. Do you like short vs. long tweets? Is that something you think about at all?
Thank you Jenny! I think our friendship is off to a great start, and to answer your question: Yes.
Jenny Nelson writes and lives in Brooklyn and works at Funny or Die.