For weeks, I did not know her real name. Even now, I sometimes forget it. I did save her number in my phone though, saved it just like her Twitter name was, “Bit of a dork.” Twitter names can be so revealing about personality. I mean, here are just a few I have seen lately,
A thayad hun
Domasi rabla moze
If my parents find my twirrer ndamama
I bet your hands aren’t even clean
One of The Crab in The Barrel
Do you have money?
Call me too sweet
Karen From Finance
Tuma pumps twe black
She is just a child 🌸
Dimpled Dr Bae
Merchant of the South
As a Curate administrator, I have learnt to be attuned to people’s names. They can reveal aspects of personality: humour, contemplation, cynicism, activism, narcissism, ethnic pride, spontaneity or irreverence.
Next, one gets to reveal themselves more fully in their biographies. Here are some that I love:
“Mind possessed by unmade books. Fashion enthusiast. Sexually identifies as Feminist. Intersectional. Intentional. Co Founder @SistahSistahFo1 #EndPeriodPoverty”
“•Believer• art connoisseur• sensitive thug•”
“Author. Bibliophile. Feisty Feminista. Mother of Sonshine. Longlister. Barry Ronge Fiction Prize 2019. The Dublin Literary Award 2020
“I am 1/2 of #RunTheJewels I like My Woman, My Kids, Weed, Polo and Politics. I am a Pan Africanist Gangster Rapper, Civic Leader & Activist.Honor Me”
Their profile pictures and cover photos become a visual representation of who they are. Ranging from cartoon avatars, to blacklivesmatter activist hashtags, demanding calls for action, “If you are reading this, follow me.”
Is this the same world of egg accounts, of fake profiles, catfish, trolls, hate speech, gender wars, tribalist vitriol, racist slurs, ideological extremism, narcistic wokeness, bouts of mass disinformation and humans spewing propaganda for governments, capitalists, lobbyists and a whole array of power groups? Yes, it is! Twitter absolutely is this place.
It is this immersion in the world of Twitter that induces a cognitive dissonance when one migrates to Instagram. Where, so many quotes are meant to be inspirational, but come off as deep fake. Where brand promotion lacks finesse nor subtlety, but often becomes crass and tacky. Where filters and angles emphasize, amplify and glorify summer bodies 365 days of the year, often being the snatched semi nude of a female form.
Beauty does exist. Visual beauty. Of candid shots of a person in comfy shorts. Of unintentional glares to the camera with a sly grin. Of low fi street poses in a crew of friends. Of no filter (sans no filter caption) early morning portraits of glowing skin. Of bright coloured sunrise, of kaleidoscope of dusk skyline. Of a cup of coffee, a muffin, and the latest read.
The Twimbos are disparaging of Mark Zuckerburg’s behemoth social network. They call it, the village.
They are irked by a loose collection of friends and family, ostensibly seeking connection through status updates and photoshoots. Of parents sending friend requests, then pulling up embarrassing baby pictures. Of the rote pleasantries of birthday celebrations. Facebook feels a tad bit too dreary, restrained…. Real.
I suppose, where one’s avator becomes one’s personality, some love the freedom of this online being existing as a semi-anonymous; highly Curated ; carefully managed persona plugged into an algorithm assisted echo chamber of similar thought.
So, we check out these profiles. These names, these bios, these pictures. Not suspend belief, but indulge in the social media reality we construct. Scroll, like, follow, mute, block, please, unfollow, friend, flirt, slide in DMs, rinse, repeat, addict, react, howl, scream, double tap. In search of that, which tickles our fancy.
Like me, when I found the girl whose name I barely know, but whose personality resonates. Her. “A bit of a dork.”