Darcie Wilder is a native New Yorker. Her work has appeared in Logue Magazine, Selfish, New Hive, and MTV No Chill. She probably will publish a book with Sorry House this year. She ran the Twitter account @iworkforvice and mostly tweets at @333333333433333. This week I spoke with Wilder about three of her favorite tweets she’s written, plus her thoughts on subtweeting, unfollowing, cockroaches, and more.
Wilder: I also sent him potential children’s names and wedding venues (which went over ok considering I wasn’t seriously pursuing him) but tweeting about it ended up ‘crossing the line’ in a way that spurred this serious conversation about performativity on the internet blah blah blah and I ended up having to level with him or whatever idk we don’t talk it’s fine.
What are things that you count as crossing the line regarding what you post on Twitter?
Obviously anything abusive or creepy or whatever. And petty personal attacks, or tweets about people who aren’t ok with that attention or who ask not to be tweeted about. But I also think it’s fine, in those situations, to keep tweeting about yourself. Like boys that don’t want me to tweet about them, that’s fine, but I think I still have a right to talk about my experience. And guys (because it’s only been guys so far) that have problems with it usually have weird control things. Or they don’t like seeing my tweets about what they’ve done because they don’t like what they’ve done. But it’s also sometimes hard to tell what’s a problematic subtweet because lots of people don’t want girls to say anything at all. I think I’ve tweeted that before.
I was arguing with this guy about which pokemon we would be. He thought I was Gloom but I’m pretty sure I’m Charmander. I delete a lot of tweets and was about to delete this one like two seconds before my friend Sam told me he liked it, so I left it up. I ended up integrating this tweet into a longer piece about that guy, but I think this is the only line that came from a tweet.
Are there people whose endorsements of your tweets you find especially meaningful for whatever reason, and are they the same people whose feedback you desire the most on your other kinds of work?
Definitely. There are so many people I admire and love and respect on Twitter, and I feel really flattered when they follow or interact with me. Sometimes I find myself acting differently after a cool follow, but I can’t ever keep it up. Honestly I probably don’t actually act differently, I just feel differently or try to avoid posting something that might make them unfollow. Truest example of this is how many people from work follow me, yet I can’t stop tweeting like, TMI stuff about dating or sex or being gross or whatever. But yeah—I definitely notice if no one I follow is interacting with a particular type of tweet, or when someone I super respect does interact with a tweet. Yes, they’re the same people I’d like to get feedback from on other types of work.
How often do you delete tweets and why?
Probably every day I delete at least one tweet, and sometimes I’ll post something knowing I’ll probably delete it. But it sucks because I’ll regret deleting if someone replies to it, or I’ll feel uncomfortable and exposed and reckless that you can still see the tweet on like, the iPhone app after I already deleted it. Once I tweeted something ridiculous and woke up and the first thing I went to do was delete, but Melissa Broder had retweeted it from @sosadtoday so I didn’t. Sometimes I’ll think I should delete something right before someone I respect validates it, and that’s taught me that I’m pretty harsh on myself and my work and that being open and honest and owning my feelings is usually the most important thing. Most often my reasons for deleting are like, my blood sugar was low when I wrote it and I feel uncomfortable with it or it gives off the wrong impression or someone might take offense or it sounded different earlier.
How do you incorporate tweets into longer pieces?
They’re usually good opening lines because they have to be attention-grabbing, or good closing lines because they concisely sum up a whole idea. I also find them helpful for remembering what things felt like in the moment, because they’re usually written and posted with an immediacy. They’re also good as feedback, like interactions on tweets show what a reader responds to.
Posted the day after Valentine’s Day after seeing a roach at my dad’s apartment. I remember that Valentine’s Day because I ran into my middle school crush at a February 14 St. Patrick’s Day themed mixer and made out with him before he ditched me while I did Taking Back Sunday karaoke. He unfollowed me a few days later.
Has your reaction to getting unfollowed changed over time?
I think when I first started, back in like, 2010, I took it more personally because it felt more like Facebook. It was more of a way to keep in touch with friends, and now it feels less like a rolodex and more like something to actually read. A year or two ago I either didn’t take it personally, or denied that I took it personally because I felt it was gross to feel entitled to be on someone’s feed or whatever. Like I still felt weird or bad, but I knew that it was also like, fine for them to unfollow, so I wasn’t super upset. Like they’re not dying. But that’s changed since they invented the mute function. Like I can be a difficult account to follow sometimes, so I understand if I’m muted, but if someone unfollows me I feel like they’re sending me a message or a communication or trying to distance themselves or else they would’ve just muted me. But yeah, I guess it’s always a bummer to get unfollowed, but I think I care less than most people. It’s more about who is unfollowing.
What are your favorite things to see on your Twitter timeline?
I like relatable and funny tweets about what my friends are doing or thinking. Or people that I like, but aren’t friends, but would like to be friends with. And smart tweets with interesting and/or nuanced perspective on political/social issues/etc. Also like jokes and selfies.
Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny Or Die.