Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The Twitter Index

twitter-index.jpg

Tracking the soaring stocks and junk bonds of social media, helping you to invest carefully and speculate wisely. (By Rhodri Marsden)

October 9th, 2013

Falling: Fathers quitting smoking

There are many honourable ways to get your tweets retweeted. You could post something funny:


Make a wistful observation about life online:


Be Harry Styles and say "All my stuff and things":


But there's something unseemly about begging, and something even more unseemly about emotional blackmail – particularly emotional blackmail that doesn't work. I hereby present "If you retweet this my dad will stop smoking", which is the new "any sudden moves and the bunny rabbit gets it".


(2,811 retweets short of target.)


(996 retweets short of target.)


(Not even imaginative enough to specify a target.)

I think it's safe to say that no father has ever stopped smoking because of a half-arsed social media campaign initiated by one of his offspring that's got more to do with racking up retweets in the vain hope of achieving self-validation than an attempt at lung saving, an observation that's made regularly on Twitter in caustic fashion:

The burden of proof, of course, falls upon the person begging for the retweets, and many resort to posting screen grabs of SMS conversations they've had with their father in which he agrees to the plan. It's true to say that forgery is not a talent this people possess in abundance; "Dad will you quit smoking" is usually the first ever text that the child has sent their father, rather than "Did you get this?" or "Hi".
These screen grabs, being devoid of specifics, are of course endlessly reusable, and you see the same ones being deployed by different people in the vain hope of attracting small amounts of attention. This next one is a good one, demonstrating as it does an easy-come, easy-go attitude on the part of the father that's completely at odds with the behavioural characteristics of nicotine addiction.


This, however, is the best:



_______________________________________________________

October 7th

Flatlining: High, chunky turtleneck sweaters

Eric Fane, also known as @FaneEric, is a man who likes to wear high, chunky turtleneck sweaters. He would like other people to start wearing high, chunky turtleneck sweaters too, in order create a high, chunky turtleneck sweatered utopia, where we’re all slightly too warm and we all tend to say “Is it hot in here or is it me?” at parties.

Here are a couple of Eric’s favourite high, chunky turtleneck sweaters:


@FaneEric operates what is largely a one-issue Twitter account. He valiantly tries to create a friendly environment where people of all creeds and colours can openly discuss knitwear of the high, chunky turtleneck variety. Over the last four days he has made a concerted effort to draw the Twitter community into the conversation:


You get the idea. Responses to Eric’s line of questioning were few, far between and slightly puzzled.


But he remains undaunted, and you have to admire that kind of tenacity. Don’t you?

NB: Eric has one other interest that he occasionally likes to pursue on Twitter:


The best answer to this was provided back in August by @caitlinmoran:



_______________________________________________________

October 3rd, 2013

Rising: Celebrity Awareness Game

It’s not easy for people of my age, people who wrestle with receding hairlines, piles and rising blood pressure, to keep tabs on who’s hot and who’s not. It requires huge amounts of mental energy that are better devoted to assessing the economic benefits of switching energy supplier, or whether it would be better to stuff thyme or rosemary up the arse of a chicken. But I’ve found a way of testing my awareness of celebrity culture. I search Twitter for the many people who can’t believe that someone they know doesn’t know who someone famous is, ascertain whether I know who that person is, then mark myself accordingly. I figure that if people are going to heap derision on their friends on family for being unaware of someone, I should probably wise up.


Wookie. Star Wars. Boom. 1/1.


No idea. Apparently he’s an “American football tight end who is currently a free agent and last played for the New England Patriots”. 1/2.


White Swan in Black Swan. 2/3.


I don’t know who Max B is. Wikipedia tells me that he’s a rapping murderer. 2/4.


The singer in Tin Machine. 3/5. I’m doing better than I usually do at this.


Had to look Logan up. He’s an actor in some things I haven’t seen. 3/6.


I KNOW THIS ONE because my girlfriend DJs occasionally and she plays this and I like it a lot. 4/7.


Target for throwers of capacious underwear. 5/8.


Cup final headbutter. 6/9.


American country singer, apparently. 6/10.


Nor does this bitch. The “Mexican Madonna”. Interesting Wikipedia entry. 6/11.


Mee neether. Recorded a song called “I Luv This Shit”. 6/12. Gah.


I end strongly. 7/13. Just over half marks. I hereby apply for the editorship of OK! Magazine.

_______________________________________________________

October 2nd, 2013

Falling: Loving the Daily Mail

Not one week after #dontreadthedailymail was featured in the Twitter Index, Twitter has gone Mail mad once again. We can’t get enough of not getting enough of it. It’s like some kind of serum that keeps us functioning by giving us something to rail endlessly against; without it we’d be forced to post details of our breakfast bowl or laboriously construct puns that feel more like a desperate exercise in grammar than an attempt at humour.

But hang on a sec. The Mail’s flogging over 1.7m newspapers per day. Its website is the biggest news website in the world. Twitter surely can’t be an inherently left-wing medium, so where are all the people who like the Mail? Where are all the people who are proud to state their allegiance? Their voices just don’t seem to have been heard on social media in the last couple of days, so in the interests of balance (because ShortList wouldn’t dream of being partisan) I’ve tried to find some.


That’s three. I did find a few more but they were being sarcastic.

Comments

More

I spent inauguration night in Trump Towers and all I found was despair

Red hats and naff cocktails in the (former) home of the world's most powerful man

23 Jan 2017

Roast potatoes and burnt toast could put you at risk of cancer

Potato smiles ain't looking so smiley anymore

by James Bird
23 Jan 2017

New calculator tells you whether you'd survive a nuclear bomb

Hint: nil

by Emily Badiozzaman
23 Jan 2017

Rod Stewart was hilariously pissed on live television over the weekend

"NUMBER SISSTEEN!"

by Sam Diss
23 Jan 2017

Artist makes a 27ft Knife Angel out of 100,000 confiscated weapons

Could this end up in Trafalgar Square?

20 Jan 2017

Finally, a Top Trumps game that shows all of Donald Trump's personas

For 1-4 Caucasian players

by Emily Badiozzaman
20 Jan 2017

Brilliant political cartoons that sum up Donald Trump's idiocy

Because sometimes you have to laugh. Right? RIGHT?

20 Jan 2017

Read Obama’s farewell letter to the American people

"You made me a better man"

by Emily Badiozzaman
20 Jan 2017

Yohji Yamamoto's new collection actually makes us want to wear a suit

We'll have one of everything, please

by Sam Diss
20 Jan 2017

This kid set a fire at anti-Trump rally; totally owned it on live TV

We want to be this kid when we grow up

by Sam Diss
20 Jan 2017