Twitter drama is trending on TikTok
“I'm looking at it through an anthropological or sociological lens where I'm like, ‘Oh, people are being nuts on Twitter.’”
TikTok is how I get my Twitter news now. —Kate
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I’m a believer in the separation of church and state: I like to keep my TikTok separate from my Twitter. One is a place for zoning out in hopes of finding peace, the other for sinking into the dismal abyss. But, occasionally, Twitter delivers with some bonkers, chronically-online, chef’s kiss discourse that it would be unfair to limit to just one platform. That’s where Joshua of tellthebeees comes in. He’s been growing his 18,000-strong TikTok following with his thoughts on literature, culture, and fandom since May, but his most popular videos by far are the ones that bring Twitter’s latest main characters to voyeurs on the FYP.
But Joshua is not just gleefully sharing the goss. He valiantly attempts to find a larger meaning in these touch-grass blow-ups.
“I've been on the internet since 2002, so I just grew up online and I've seen the way that society and culture has changed,” he tells me over Zoom. “I also come from an academic background. I was a sociology major in undergrad, I went to grad school and I got my masters in social research. So I combine all of these things. I think I'm looking at it through an anthropological or sociological lens where I'm like, ‘Oh, people are being nuts on Twitter. Let's think about why this is going on.’ And just seeing the shifts in the way that people communicate over the last ten years especially has just been jarring.”
While Joshua isn’t in media—he works in entertainment—most of the dust-ups he covers tend to involve media types or the literature adjacent. This is so he can combine the discourse with his love of books, and feel confident he actually has something to say about what’s happening, rather than contributing to Twitter’s “dogpile” culture.
In this interview for paid subscribers, Joshua and I talked about the mechanics of Twitter drama, what makes it so successful on TikTok, and why YA Twitter might be the scariest place on earth.