Love Letters: What’s the Point of Subtweeting?

talkin to me

What’s good, lovebirds? Spring is supposed to be here but since the seasons are operating on CP time, we’ve probably got another week or so until Spring Fever hits. So let’s get your love life straight before things warm up.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on Twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

Why do people get into relationships, marriages, and situationships then proceed to post negative subliminal posts on social media? We all know who and what you’re talking about.


Shout out to DC for her use of “situationships,” one of my favorite made-up words.

What DC is referring to in her question is the art of the subtweet, one of the most annoying things spawned from the ratchet womb of social media.

For those of you not in know, let’s turn to the always-reliable and never inaccurate Urban Dictionary for a definition of subtweeting:

A tweet that mentions a Twitter member without using their actual name. Usually employed for negative or insulting tweets; the person you’re mentioning won’t see their subtweet in their Twitter timeline as it doesn’t contain the @ symbol every Twitter username has.

And if that definition is too technical, Urban Dictionary is always willing to keep it hood:

When that ratchet on Twitter or Instagram says something about one person but doesn’t use their name so it’s anonymous.


Essentially the art of “subtweeting” (which can refer to messages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Bebo if that’s still thing) is what the old folks used to call “throwing stones and then hiding your hands.” And it’s pretty annoying.

I get the appeal, though. Many people use social media as sort of a live digital diary, posting their innermost thoughts and venting frustrations. And in an attempt to not give the target of their rage unnecessary attention, they simply do the digital equivalent of screaming into a vacuum.

Except, as DC said, chances are we already know who you’re talking about.

I mean, if I posted about why I don’t understand why every reviewer on the planet is losing his or her minds over a pretty average debut album with a couple of fun songs and a whole lot of filler that’s only getting a ton of buzz because the rapper in question is really funny on Twitter and we’re more obsessed with her fame than whether she’s actually good at rapping, it doesn’t take the ancient mysticism of Dr. Strange to figure out who I’m talking about.

cardi b

So yeah, it’s frustrating to watch you friends vent publicly about an anonymous person that’s almost never anonymous. But this is the world we live in and there’s not much we can do it about it.

If someone you’re close to seems to be having a social media meltdown, I suggest checking in with that person offline. NEVER do it online because that will just feed into their rage – they’re more likely to act out (or on the flipside, outright ignore you) if there is a captive audience.

But in most cases, let ’em subtweet and leave them be.

On the heels of that unhelpful answer, here’s another question.

So there’s a young man that I’ve been involved with twice. We both made some off-the-wall moves the last couple of times. We ran into each other some weeks back. We both still have a mutual attraction to one another. Do you believe that I should have the mindset of California and have the three strikes rule? Should this guy and I stroll down lover’s lane again?


Y’all know I’m a pretty forgiving brother – except when it comes to Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreaks album.



So typically, I’d be OK with DM giving it another shot. BUT, DM, you said you both made some “off the wall” moves. Twice. Now unless we’re talking Michael Jackson in ’79, I’m guessing you’re subtly saying you both royally screwed up twice before.

Have y’all learned from your mistakes? Has there been grown and maturity on both sides? I know it’s easy to reminisce on the good times when your old boo materializes out of the blue, but if you twice left undesirable circumstances I’d be really hesitant about making it three for three.


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