Lindsey Martin (@Lindzeta) on the Tweet That Won’t Go Away

@Lindzeta, also known as Lindsey Martin, is a 28-year-old woman and aspiring comedy writer living in her Chicago apartment that is covered in animal hair. This week she talked to me about three of her favorite tweets, writing the musical Hamilton, and the person who’s using her tweet as a Tinder pic.

Martin: This is one of my first tweets I remember really getting big. I included this tweet because this is one of my favorite movies of all time, and a tweet that really seems to confuse people. I was just sitting in my apartment one day when the movie came on TV and I decided to live-tweet it. It really makes no sense that nobody on the entire continent of Asia found a ticket or that the German child spoke perfect English, even while in Germany. It was obviously done so the movie could be digestible in the 1970s, but it honestly makes no sense and I got a kick out of that. I guess in a roundabout way, it’s a statement on the lack of diversity in the media, but that’s not what I was going for at all. I also like this tweet because of how much it confuses people. I have people taking the time to explain to me in great detail why certain children were able to use their privilege to obtain Wonka bars, and then I have people who get mad at me for taking a children’s movie so seriously. But it was really just a funny observation to me.

Do you usually find strangers’ confused responses more entertaining or annoying?

I used to go out of my way to confuse people online. By “people” I mean Pizza Hut. I used to tweet at Pizza Hut a lot. I’d typically send them fake complaints about getting a pizza delivered to my house with pepperonis drawn in the shape of a swastika, or something equally outrageous and bizarre. I grew out of that pretty quickly. At this point, though, I’m usually pretty annoyed by genuine responses to a tweet where I am clearly joking or being sarcastic. I have to either “break character” from tweeting in a silly or absurd voice and address the person or keep the joke going. I don’t have the attention span or ability to handle conflict for either of those things. I usually just ignore the person, and keep letting them think I’m serious. Addressing it only makes it worse. The people who follow me know better and are used to me online, but people who just had the tweet show up on their timeline amongst Total Frat Move or a Will Ferrell parody account are usually profoundly confused.

Does predicting responses from people ever stop you from tweeting something?

Absolutely. I try not to ever be mean-spirited in my tweets and sometimes if I’m in a bad mood or frustrated, I feel myself starting to write something that could hurt somebody’s feelings and I really hate doing that. Usually anything I write in a moment of high emotion is guaranteed to get responses, so I usually have to think really carefully about whether or not it’s worth it. It usually isn’t.

I had to include this because it’s one of my more popular tweets and seems to be that tweet that just won’t go away and because it’s a true story. I think this tweet took off because of the way that it resonated with people. Everybody can relate to the overwhelming feelings you have when you get a crush on somebody, or worrying about how to handle it, but I think me being gay added a whole other layer to it. When you’re a kid, you have no idea how to handle a crush but when you’re a gay kid you really don’t know how to handle it and you’re definitely not allowed to talk or tell anybody about it. It’s a little sad, but it’s funny too. You see a kid who is really struggling with something, but handling it in a way that everybody can relate to. I think as adults, we can all see ourselves in a kid who does something like that. It’s probably one of my more human tweets, and I think that’s what’s made it such a popular one.

Can you explain what you mean by “won’t go away?” Are there any weird or unexpected places you’ve seen it pop up?

My friend saw a girl on Tinder who was using a screenshot of that tweet as one of her pictures. Like, all the pictures of herself that she thinks will make people want to have sex with her… and my tweet. So, I genuinely hope that is working out for her and when she finds somebody, they can discuss what a great tweet I wrote while having safe and consensual sex with one another.

It’s shown up on a lot of Buzzfeed type lists and I think once in Playboy, which was especially bizarre. I used to tell it onstage when I was doing comedy, but it’s popped up on the Internet so much, I’m worried people will think I stole the tweet from the Internet. Sometimes people manually retweet it and add commentary in like, Portuguese or French and I have absolutely no idea what they’re saying, but I can only assume they’re talking about what a great tweet it is.

Do you prefer tweeting more human things vs. plain zany jokes? Do you have a preference for what you like to read from others?

I think it’s a mix because I’m a mix. I really enjoy being silly online, but a lot of the time it’s mixed with a human element because I’m usually tweeting about myself or what I think about something. I don’t get too personal online, but I also don’t just tell jokes with like, punchlines and set ups. My life is a pretty unusual mix of writing comedy and being a professional social worker, so my personality is very much a blend of those two things. I never tweet about what I do at work, but it’s impossible for what I do not to blend into my sense of humor or the way I look at the world.

With the exception of a few unhinged celebrities, I pretty much just follow other everyday people who make me laugh. My absolute favorite people to follow and the funniest people online are usually other people in their 20’s who work a regular job or go to school and just tweet about the weird thoughts they have or things that go on in their day to day lives. A lot of the people I follow are so funny I can’t really believe it. It’s what keeps me on Twitter as much as I am.

This tweet is just silly. That’s all there was to it. I’m not sure why I found this so amusing, but it’s always had a place in my heart. I’m actually not sure if this person actually died, so I’m going to feel really insensitive if that’s the case.

What are your favorite subjects to tweet about?

When I’m not tweeting about complete nonsense, I really like to discuss my love for the original Willy Wonka movie and also my disdain for my enemy, Nicholas Sparks. He is the worst and is my enemy. Sometimes, out of nowhere, I’ll remember story from my past and then I have to tweet that. Like the time in 9th grade, when a kid on the bus told me he was going to freestyle for me and then just rapped the first verse of Jason Mraz’s “The Remedy.” It was really important to me that everybody knew about that.

Sometimes I like to pretend to be a really confused person who doesn’t understand basic things. Like, during Christmas I like to tweet a picture of an obvious ornament and write “the apples on this tree taste terrible why I had seven of them.” Those sorts of tweets never have proper capitalization or punctuation and are always a lot of fun to me. I love occasionally playing this extremely exaggerated and confused version of myself online sometimes.

Most recently, my favorite thing to tweet about is writing Hamilton (which is a musical that I wrote).

Has your style of tweeting changed very much over time?

It’s changed a little, I suppose. I got really into Twitter this time about four years ago. The scene was exploding!!! And I didn’t have a job. It was perfect. I was definitely a part of the “weird twitter” thing. I did a lot of very formulaic, jokey type of tweets. I transitioned into the way I tweet now pretty early on. I had a billion times more fun when I’d just tweet whatever I felt like, or tweeted about my everyday life. My tweets were less frequent in 2015 because I was busy writing Hamilton, which is a Tony-nominated musical that I wrote. I have more time to do that now. It’s important to get back to what’s important, which is being on Twitter and making tweets.

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

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