@AubreyBell on Tweeting and What’s Fun About Plain Reality

aubrey bellamyAubrey Bellamy (@aubreybell) is a writer and regular person, really, living in Los Angeles. This week Bellamy and I talked about three of her favorite tweets she’s written. We discussed things like subtweeting, “soft-blocking,” her favorite tones to read and to write in, and more.

Bellamy: $250 is the perfect amount of money to just get. That’s all.

What would you say are your favorite kinds of things, subject wise/tonally/etc, to read on Twitter?

This varies from observational stuff (i.e., what music is playing at a bar, who is sneezing too loudly, how close a person in a Trader Joe’s line is standing) to straight up good-ass jokes (not to be confused with ass jokes, though sometimes those, too). The people I really love on Twitter are usually aces at it all.

Do you think the things you’re interested in reading on your timeline are reflected in what you yourself tweet or are those more separate for you?

If I enjoy someone’s voice, I’ll read everything they write. It can be refreshing when someone is tonally different from me, but is—from the perspective of someone reading a screen—fundamentally similar. As far as “hate-reading” or following people for status over content, no. That to me is boring and ultimately frustrating. I don’t like to have that many emotions at once about Twitter.

I hesitate to add this one because it is kind of a subtweet. Subtweeting doesn’t hold a lot of interest for me, a person who talks exclusively about herself. But, anyway, it’s true! Taylor Swift was never friends with any of us, and the idea that it suddenly became that way feels like schoolyard brattiness — and we were never (ever) even on the same schoolyard as Tay.

Twitter can be a bit of a pile-on and I hate being able to see the strings of thought, the “oh, thank fuck something new happened for me to contribute my voice to!” However, I definitely use Twitter as a total thought-dump, so what do I know? The only difference is that while I’m not participating in a discussion about, say, The Dress, I am writing seventeen tweets about the film What Lies Beneath or telling secrets.

Are there any other online habits like subtweeting that you find bad but also maybe tempting?

I don’t necessarily think subtweeting is “bad” as much as it is “not for me, thanks.” I recently learned what “soft-blocking” is and all I have to say about it is that I think it’s stupid. There are probably a hundred weird behavioral things going on with Twitter that I have no knowledge about and would like to keep it that way.

Have you ever either known that you were being subtweeted or suspected yourself of being subtweeted, and if so what was that like for you?

If anyone has ever subtweeted me I absolutely did not realize it and likely fav-ed the tweet.

How have you noticed the way you use Twitter change over time?

I didn’t start really Using Twitter until after a break up (of course!) in 2012. At that time Twitter was joke! Joke! Joke! So that’s what I did, for awhile. I only followed professional comedians initially and thought tweets needed to be so funny and so very formed. That quickly became exhausting because I’m not a comedian! At all! Also, I had very few followers for a good while, so I was able to work out my voice without very much interference. I met my writing partner Tessa Strain during that time, and she was a huge, huge champion of mine. That definitely bolstered my confidence as a tweeter for sure, but mostly as a writer and person.

It’s just a plain fact you look better in a picture you know is being taken by someone who loves you. They have your best interest at heart, they know your face — all the right angles and lines — you’re very safe. There’s a lot of media to consume about removing pictures of former significant others from your life, and I feel like the act of getting rid of the pictures that they took of you is a very new and real problem. I’m serious.

This was my pinned tweet for awhile and it got the most @-replies of “woof” so I considered it a major success.

Something I like about all three of the tweets you chose is how much they work both as jokes and as earnest statements. Is that a balance that you’re aware of as you tweet?

The short answer is: yes, I’m aware of it.

The funniest thing in the world to me is the plain reality of what something is. I worry sometimes that my tweets read as sarcastic because, for the most part, they’re really not. I play up the wide-eyedness to an extent, but my sense of humor in general is very dry and honest. I don’t like to search very hard for the joke. For me, there are two truths and they can exist either separately, or together:

1. Life is very funny.
2. I am very lazy.

Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny Or Die.

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