Twitter is often spoken of as being somewhat of a scary place. If you’ve ever, even passively, partaken in the consumption of mainstream media, you’ve probably heard ominous warnings of the dreaded social media platform. “It’s the end of human civilisation as we know it” they say. Over 250 million registered users, all screeching into the echoless void. Too many people. Too many voices. Too many opinions. It’s a deafening echo chamber. The clashes and conflicts are far too much for us to bear. Supreme overlord Larry the Twitter Bird (yeah, the Twitter bird has a name, apparently) has us imprisoned and cocooned, Matrix-style. His cheery chirps are nothing more than euphemistic Sieg Heils. His 2-D animated beak has both swallowed and regurgitated the public consciousness as a whole, besmirching and bathing us in his terrible bile. The end is coming, and it shall run the streets and rivers blue. #StayWoke.
Fear not, my friends, for this is nothing but scaremongering. 250 million people all talking at once might sound like a lot to handle, but I come bearing some solace. According to RealAndWell-ResearchedNotFakeScience.com, a website that doesn’t exist and which I just created in my head, Twitter is, in fact, only home to no more than a grand total of six users. While it is true that there are over 250 million accounts registered to the platform, a recent study from RealAndWellResearchedNotFakeScience.com found that this overwhelming horde can be boiled down to a mere six distinct personalities, or types of users. For those of you who tremble at the thought of venturing into the hectic and noisy apocalypse of Twitter, take refuge in the fact that any (yes, ANY!) person you come across can be simply slotted into any one of these six all-encompassing categories.
#1: The Stan
If you’ve ever come across an account whose sole purpose is to engage in cult-like maniacal worship of a certain celebrity or group of celebrities, you’ve almost certainly encountered what is referred to as a “Stan”. The Stan is a generally harmless creature and will not attack unless provoked. However, what constitutes a provocation of the Stan is murky and far-reaching. A confrontation with a Stan can be deadly and is certainly ill-advised. When attacked, the Stan may defend itself by releasing a dose of its fatal toxin, commonly referred to as the Venom of Cancellation. Once a stan ‘cancels’ its prey, all hope is truly lost. As the victim lays paralysed and gasping for air, the Stan implements battle cries such as “tea” and “drag her, sis” to invite other Stans to join in on the feast.
Provocations of the Stan include, but are not limited to:
Speaking ill of: Lady Gaga; Dan & Phil; BTS; Astrology; Beyoncé; Shawn Mendes; Jeff Goldblum; Indie music in general.
Common signs of a Stan are:
- A Profile Picture which features any of the aforementioned celebrities.
- An excessive presence of sexually explicit Tweets sent to Shawn Mendes.
- Using “Skinny Legend”, “Sis” and “Queen” as general terms of address.
#2: The Local
If you are new to Twitter and are using this guide as an introductory aid, you have already been automatically sectioned into the category of “Local”. While they are generally peaceful and docile creatures, locals can unknowingly find themselves amid the heat of battle and are often preyed upon by the Stan. Locals are characterised by their seeming lack of involvement or ~expertise~ on the platform. Their presence on Twitter is a passive and casual one, and they can often be found Tweeting about mundanities such as how tiring their shift at work was, or how excited they are for the latest Marvel movie. Meme trends are of no interest to the Local, who personally believes that images of Minions with quirky, relatable punchlines slapped over them in impact font are still funny as heck.
Common signs of a Local are:
- Not realising they are a local.
- An exclusive and unironic following of all mainstream trends.
- Having no distinct or distinguishable personality traits.
#3: The Goth
If you are a Cork-native, you may have vaguely fearful and uneasy memories of the vast army of Goths which once inhabited the red-brick planes of Paul Street. Many a Safari expedition ventured out to these plains, hopeful to catch a glimpse of one of these elusive creatures grazing on ripened Leaves of Amber, or sucking ravenously on the teat of a Monster can. However, as the 2000’s came to a close, this once powerful herd seemed to be in a perpetual state of thinning, and many were led to believe that they had been claimed by the cold hand of extinction.
The rumours of extinction were only rumours; as any cultured mind will tell you, Goths can not die. They merely migrate. The Goth species did just this, finding a new home in a particular pocket of Cyberspace known as Twitter, where they live on today, often inconspicuous and blending seamlessly in to normal society. While the Goths may have achieved some level of anonymity to the untrained eye, they are easily distinguished by some marking characteristics. They are increasingly easy to weed out around this time of year, as it is proven science that the Goth cannot resist but to change their username to a spooky Halloween-themed pun in the current season.
Common signs of a Goth are:
- Using an obscure (and definitely not pretentious) quote from a poem/song/film as their bio, which leaves the reader in a state of perplexed amazement and admiration. How mysterious and complex they must be!
- A black and white filtered profile picture – often a selfie of them in their bedroom, looking solemn. A smile will never be present because Goths lack the required facial muscles to do so.
- Bangs and a septum piercing.
- Bangs. And. A. Septum. Piercing.
#4: The Fiat 500 Owner
In many ways, the Fiat 500 Owner is the direct antithesis to the Goth. Where the Goth opts for solemn looks and bangs, the Fiat 500 Owner prefers dip-dyed ponytails and candid pictures of them laughing with their friends which, in reality, have involved planning and strategy to a militaristic degree. A quick scan through their list of Tweets won’t tell you much, as it will be flooded with retweeted posts from an account called Common White Girl, which is commonly thought of as the hive-mind and religious scripture of Fiat 500 Owner culture. An original Tweet or two may appear somewhere, and will commonly be constructed in one of the following formats:
“If my future husband doesn’t [insert extremely unremarkable action], I’m finding myself a new one!”
“This hangover is actually going to be the death of me. WHY do [insert generic fast-food outlet] not do deliveries?!?”
“OMG! The DRAMA in [insert mainstream reality television show]!! [Insert insufferable male star of said reality show with abs and a spray-tan] has me weeaaakk”
#5: The Lad
Perhaps the most volatile and aggressive of the bunch, the Lad can often attack without warning or any apparent provocation. They’re easy to spot, and will more than likely be proudly sporting Conor McGregor or any Premier League footballer as their profile picture. If you ever happen to come across a tweet detailing a funny/bizarre personal anecdote from someone’s (particularly a female’s) life, the Lad will often be found amid the replies, having posted the classic “Didn’t Happen” meme – much to the amusement of his army of hench lads. This phenomenon is as of yet unexplained, but most scientists have analogised it as simply being the online version of pulling a girl’s hair and calling her names after she refuses to kiss you behind the shed in the primary school playground – somewhat of a sexually frustrated tantrum. Casual racism and a general lack of pleasantness are further indicators that you’ve stumbled across a Lad
#6: The Aloof User
Of all the six categories, the Aloof User is easily the hardest to define; which is exactly what they are hoping for. The Aloof User is characterised by a lack of full conformity to any one of the previous five categories, as they believe that they are far too complex and layered to be defined in such a way. Instead, they dip in and out of each category at their leisure, showing some characteristics of each one, but never fully immersing themselves in any. Some have labelled the Aloof User as being a true force of individuality, but many have interpreted them as being cowards – obsessed with social status and how they are perceived to the point where their fear has paralysed them, and forced them to wander in a perpetual no-man’s-land, devoid of any true passion or purpose.
Hopefully, these categories will make your whole Twitter experience somewhat of a smoother ride. It’s really not as terrible of a place as people say. So, next time you’re forced to listen to GenericTalkShowFM on your commute, and you hear DJ Pale & Middle Aged ranting on about how the chaos and cacophony of Twitter is going to bring the end of Western civilisation as we know it, remember what I’ve told you. Ring up the station, tell your man to relax and go back to minimising the financial plights of millennials by rattling off a few avocado jokes, and let everyone know about what this article has taught you. How could the apocalypse possibly be brought about by a pack of Goths and Stans? Anyway, the horsemen will be coming in fours, not sixes.