Subliminal Put-Down of Passive-Aggression


“Subtweet” has become a catchy buzzword, and it refers to passive-aggressive, not-naming-names, vague and critical messages posted to Twitter. The assumed context is that the person being complained about is on Twitter but isn’t being mentioned – the subject can read the tweet, but the tweeter doesn’t want to be “mean” and address it directly.

The word “subtweet” limits this to Twitter, when it happens everywhere and always has. I suppose there’s an added element of common courtesy in using the @ usernames to formally, for lack of a better word, tag the person when what’s being tweeted is positive, because it’s public and tagging the other person is incredibly simple. When somebody wants to be critical but not start an argument, though (or wants to provoke an argument but make it look like someone else is the shit disturber), the ever-so-quaint human flaw of passive-aggression manifests in this new medium!

Rather than dismiss this behaviour as petty, I will live up to it: I complain about things in vague ways when I have specific people in mind. This usually doesn’t concern other people on Twitter, although there MAY BE PEOPLE (subtweet
) who read mt Twitter feed but not through a “following” account. When I complain about stupidity on Facebook you can be sure it’s a general statement provoked by specific people. What I write on here gets sparked by real interactions. And yes, a large motivator for putting this all out there is the chance of it being read by the subliminal target.

That subliminal target probably deserves it, because of their vague passive-aggressive indirect words and behaviours. So it’s a vicious cycle. And yes – you know who you are – I’m accusing you.


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