@YungCostanza on Twitter and Forming Relationships Online

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Yung Costanza is an aspiring former attorney living in his hometown of Brooklyn. He’s a columnist for Mask Magazine and his other writing has been featured in Vice and Noisey. This week I spoke with Yung Costanza about three of his favorite tweets, plus keeping personal updates entertaining, forming relationships on Twitter, and the early films of Shia Labeouf.

Have you ever been hesitant about posting personal (or personal-ish) stuff online, and has that changed over time?

When I joined 2 years ago I was just trying to tell jokes. I had a friend who was a comedian and he was always telling me that I should do an open mic and that Twitter would be a good way to practice some material. I quickly lost interest in doing standup, but I stayed on Twitter and over time I started talking to people and sharing more about myself. I’m a little hesitant to share too much, but I don’t have the impulse control to stop myself. And while a lot of people on Twitter know me IRL, I still think it makes it easier to be open about whatever is going on in my life because my name and face aren’t heavily out there.

What’s some low hanging fruit that you don’t like tweeting about?

I try not to engage in too much “look at this idiot” tweeting unless I’m just fed up. I also just don’t enjoy trolling it’s too stressful. It’s not low hanging fruit per se but I try my best not to make jokes at people’s expense if they don’t deserve it, though I fail at that often especially if the target is a famous person who will probably never see it. Aside from that I’m pretty shameless for those sweet Favs and RTs.

How important is the interaction/conversation part of Twitter for you?

It’s become very important. I’ve met a lot of good people through Twitter and some have become friends I see regularly and some have become friends that I keep in touch with and rarely or never see, but it’s become a big part of my experience. Even with people I don’t follow or who don’t follow me, I got used to keeping up with people’s lives and how they’re doing and that’s cool. There’s a lot of talk about how impersonal and isolated “we” are because of technology but I feel like it’s fully the opposite for a lot of us. We’re so connected to so many people all the time and I don’t think people properly value how much we invest in these relationships. This generation might be the most empathetic one in some ways.

What is it that you like about photo-based jokes?

They’re just really satisfying and I’m not sure why. Maybe we’re just visual people. There’s something about when you describe a feeling or a situation in an entertaining way with an out-of-context picture. Plus there’s an endless supply of great pics on the internet.

When it comes to tweeting about pop culture vs more personal stuff is there an intentional balance you strive for or does it come naturally?

It’s definitely more natural. It’s mostly driven by whatever is happening with me in real time. I tweet a lot about music when I’m listening to something and I suddenly have an opinion about it. Or I’ll tweet about what’s going on with me because that’s what I’m concerned with at the time. Sometimes it’s just participating in whatever the hot topic on the TL is. But when I tweet about what I’m doing or how I’m feeling I still try to make it entertaining instead of just tweeting out “Eating soup” or “I wonder if my sister resents me because I’m without question the favorite child in our family.”

Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny Or Die.