There is this thing that people (mostly men) love to do on Twitter, something other than harass women and send DMs of their half chubs. It’s called threading, and it’s one of the many things ruining my Twitter experience.
Threading happens when someone has a lot of thoughts or feelings on a particular topic, so many that they can’t fit them all into 140 characters. So, ostensibly to help readers follow along on their train of thought, they thread the tweets together by replying to themselves. Sometimes they even use numbers!
Yesterday, a man named Eric Garland, a “strategic analyst for businesses and government agencies” with around 30K followers, decided it was time for some “game theory” without consultation from the rest of the internet (it wasn’t time and will never be time). The ensuing political rant is so insane and prolific it took up almost 6 pages when posted into a Google doc, and included a map. I dare you to read his thread in full and try to still respect yourself.
The content of Garland’s self-proclaimed “<THREAD>” isn’t really important, as most aren’t. They are typically “intellectual” dribblings from men who love Explaining Things To Me (essentially a subtype of Online Mansplaining). These are people who want their ideas to take up the absolute most space possible. Like Manspreading, but of digital space.
Manthreading is when Jeet Heer, a senior editor at The New Republic, thinks people fucking vegetables warrants 21 points:
Manthreading is when Josh Marshall, editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, decides to fight back against the alt-right’s Nazi Pepe by suggesting that Kermit be a political icon for good and using the hashtag #ImWithKer. (It’s so embarrassing, and was worse when he had a kermit avi):
Or how about Venture Capitalist Marc Andreessen deciding that four threads on Stagnation Theory were not enough, and adding a fifth, the Stagnation Theory Wrap-up (5/5):
The best thing about Manthreading is how unnecessary it is. There are other tools—blogs—you can use if your have more than a few tweets worth of content to spew onto the internet. Twitter co-found Ev Williams fucking built Medium for this exact reason. Twitter...but longer. Wyd, Manthreaders?
The thing about Manthreaders, though, is that they want their little nuggets to spread as widely as possible. It’s not enough to write a great blog and get a compliment on it. They want constant kudos for each point, a stream of high fives for each of their killer “owns.”
I think they also like the idea that tweets seem easy and casual, as if they are quickly firing off pearls of wisdom, not at all rehearsed. But we all know y’all have a word doc at the ready, honey. ;)
So, in conclusion, here’s MY fucking <THREAD>: