Sub-tweeting is arguably the most important communicative currency we have in 2013. We could spend hours debating about what constitute a sub-tweet, but for the sake of brevity here is the urban dictionary definition: The shortening of “subliminal tweet” which is directly referring to a particular person without mentioning their name or directly mentioning them. A great example: “SMH at this dude reading my blog who doesn’t know what sub-tweeting is.” Are we on the same page?
While sub-tweeting has so far been successful in indirectly talking shit to Twitter fuccbois, we’re only just beginning to understand it’s true potential. So why stop at Twitter? People have been subliminally saying these about each-other IRL since the days of Judas. With the Internet our daily conversations and thoughts have turned public to anyone willing to put in 10 minutes of online stalking. As our online communicative direct and indirect messaging expands through social networks, I got to thinking about how you could subliminally talk about someone on other online platforms.
Sub-facebooking is probably already a thing. People seem to always be complaining about “people complaining.” I think it may have died down due to the directness of the platform. Perhaps the best way to revitalize this sacred institution is to implement sub-commenting. This would constitute posting on a friends’ wall about someone else in hopes that that person would see it.
Sub-instagramming seems pretty easy, but it’s far from it. It’s hard to get a joke or message across with just a picture. One technique that can be employed is to mock a recent picture of someone and use the exact same caption. It will be very obvious to your mutual friends scrolling through their app as they see the original shot flexing at the gym and then your shot flexing at lunch at chipotle.
Anything I write here could be a sub-blog. Let’s say this post is about how my ex-roommate used to take 4 showers a day. He may see this and he may not. Either way, he’s still a freak. In a post last week I screen-shotted a status from Facebook and mocked it openly. I have yet to be contacted by this Facebook friend.
Let’s go back to the year 2005. MySpace had a feature that allowed you to pick a song that would play when someone viewed your profile. It seemed to make a lot of sense at the time, despite how unabashedly annoying it proved to be. Thinking about that feature now seems so foreign and awful, I almost miss it. And though it was so cumbersome and loud, I cannot overemphasize how important your MySpace song was to your online portrait. Music is a special kind of art. We like to believe you can learn a lot about someone by asking them what kind of music they listen to. I am definitely guilty of this. The MySpace song feature allowed people display their personality or better yet, their mood through an automated track of your choosing (provided the artist had made it available on their own MySpace artist page).
This feature allowed my generation of users to talk to the people visiting their page usually through a pop-punk song of your choosing. This sub-musical revelation was far-reaching, allowing MySpacers the ability to send messages through the lyrics of any artist from Bright Eyes to Usher.
This was the precursor to sub-spotifying. While sub-myspace-music-choosing was attention capturing, it was far too obvious and too over-bearing to really be subliminal. Spotify, on the other hand, allows your friends to catch what you are listening to in real time. What better way to subtly let your ex know that you are doing so well you’re just going to listen to the entire 2 Chainz before lunchtime? Or better yet, subtly let your ex know that you are an emotional train wreck by alternating between Drake and “For Emma, Forever Ago” on a saturday in July. The possibilities are endless. Want to make sure that “friend” who said she was too tired to go out tonight gets the proper amount of FOMO, play her favorite song (probably “Losing You” by Solange) on repeat during the pregame and wait for a text.