When all your friends send you the same post

One man reevaluated his entire online presence after being messaged a few too many simp memes.

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This piece is just one long way of saying you can stop sending me tweets about Colton Underwood. I don’t know why you ever did. —Kate

The day Colton Underwood came out as gay, no less than five people sent me the tweet about it. There is literally no reason I can think of for this. I watched Underwood’s season of The Bachelor with about as much interest as I have in a plastic bag blowing down the street, and given the fact that he was later accused of putting a literal tracking device on his season’s winner, I didn’t need to hear about him again.

But the texts I was receiving nearly prompted me to issue a sort of interpersonal press release: “Yes, I’ve seen that Colton Underwood is gay. I don’t know why this is making you think of me, but you can stop sending me the tweet.”

A tweet about, say, Love Island or TikTok or pottery would make sense. Those are things I knowingly project as my personal brand. But this phenomena—the tweet that everyone sends you—gets at something in the subconscious. Your friends are participating in the broadest possible version of word-association, and you are the victim. 

I probed one of my group chats for their experience with this. “People are like ‘oh saw this pic of this asshole doing something poorly while drinking an iced coffee and thought of you!’” writer Leah Carroll says. She’s referring, of course, to any picture of Ben Affleck with Dunkin'

Rachel Krause, the deputy beauty director at Refinery29, frequently receives an Onion article about “sickly rancid skin,” while R29 supervising editor Morgan Baila always gets a meme about people named Morgan being a bitch. Getting it once is funny. Getting it for the tenth time may mean you spend the day trying not to read too much into this thing everyone associates with you.

But sometimes, it’s the opposite: A sign that it’s time to reign in an aspect of yourself you’ve been broadcasting a little too heavily. 

“I was sent this 100,874 times for three months,” Baila, public Timothée Chalamet stan, says, referring to the edit (pictured above) of Chalamet with a shaved head and earrings.

For Manny Fidel, an editor at Business Insider, the frequent simp memes sent his way made him reevaluate his entire online presence. 

“In order to stop being known as the simp guy I had to deploy anti-simp measures,” he says, and “stop tweeting about” simping. 

Other times, all parties agree that a post is right on the money. BuzzFeed News reporter Julia Reinstein wholeheartedly welcomes this Reductress headline about unionizing your own ass, and Vogue culture writer Emma Specter, who is frequently sent the 2017 Young Thug tweet “I hate when GIRLS die,” sees it as a compliment.

“Long before I became gay with women, I was an ardent champion of my friends, most of whom happen to be girls,” she tells me. “I guess there’s something about my obsessive ‘I love you!’ energy that just makes people come across this tweet and think ‘I should send this to Emma.’”

As for me and Colton Underwood, I still haven’t figured it out. All I know is I weep for my phone the day his Netflix reality series is unleashed into the pop culture universe.