Math 101: Twitter > College

This is a tweet from DragonflyJonez. He is objectively one of the 5 greatest tweeters of all time.

When he originally posted this just a few weeks ago, my initial reaction was to completely dismiss it. The objective of college is to learn! You go on Twitter to laugh at dumb jokes! How could you ever possibly learn more from Twitter than our fine American academic institutions?

It took me roughly 5 seconds to convince myself to change my mind. The fact is I learned most of what I needed to learn from an educational standpoint in high school. College is where I went to just reinforce everything I learned, but not much of what I encountered was really “new.” Do you know how many times I have had to hear about Pavlov and his dumb fucking dogs? I hate Pavlov. I hate him so much. His dogs are shit too and you can tell them I said it.

In fact, here’s a comprehensive list of everything I learned at college that I hadn’t previously been exposed to in high school. Keep in mind I went to TWO colleges, so in theory I should have been exposed to DOUBLE the amount of KNOWLEDGE.

Lessons Learned At College:

1. The American prison system is not good. It is actually… BAD?!?!
2. Reality is soul crushing.
3. I learned a lot of crazy, albeit fascinating, stuff about pornography from a Psychology of Sex course. It’s definitely not appropriate to talk about on here, especially considering my mom is probably the only one who will read this, but I will discuss it at length with anyone who wants to (except for my mom).
4. According to GWU professors, Georgetown is overrated. According to Drexel professors, Penn and Temple are overrated. It’s only fitting that I somehow continually chose a “little brother” school.
5. Uhhh I think that covers everything?

There you have it. Everything I learned in college I can count on one hand. Twitter, though? I’ve learned so much from Twitter. There’s no equivalent to required courses on Twitter like there is at any college or university. You get to choose who you want to follow. You get to choose what you want to learn. Obviously this often leads to people only following those whose opinions originally matched their own anyway, but ideally you can expose yourself to as many viewpoints as you want and gain new perspectives from that. It’s great! I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a bunch of different subsets of Twitter that have been able to teach me a lot over the years. There are the music journalists, the social activists, the comedians, the weirdos, etc. etc. etc. I learned something from all of them that I will carry with me FAR longer than I’ll carry with me anything I learned from college. Except the porn stuff. I’ll remember that forever.

The following are the 25 most important lessons I have learned from my experiences on Twitter dot com.

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Say “Sorry!”

We all make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can unfortunately hurt other people even if we never intended them to. Even if it’s difficult to do, owning up to your mistakes is a positive! If you tear a family apart by the way you sexually eat your pudding for example, that’s not necessarily your fault, but you should be mindful that you may be hurting others.

2. Lose Well!

Admittedly this is a lesson that I learned while watching TCGS. A lesson so important that I felt it imperative to tattoo it on my body as a permanent reminder to myself. But Twitter only reinforced the importance of that lesson and this tweet in particular is a perfect example of what the spirit of “Losing Well” embodies. Instead of getting mad at some teens (I just assume they’re teens because teens are the only ones cool enough to think of this) for property damage or whatever, this man was able to realize that sunglasses inherently make someone AT LEAST 15% cooler. That’s science talking, not me. Look at this guy’s actual picture. He looks like a nerd! Throw a mustache and some sunglasses on him, however? IS THAT JAMES DEAN?!

(Sidenote: we need a new reference for the prototypical “cool guy” in society. I spent a solid 10 minutes staring at my computer trying to think of the quintessential 21st century cool guy and I couldn’t come up with one. Idris Elba, I’m calling you out to turn it up like 1 notch. You’re almost there, pal).

(Side, sidenote: I wrote the previous paragraph before Idris Elba released his remix of Skepta’s “Shutdown” and he has now officially taken James Dean’s crown as coolest guy to ever exist. Congrats, Stacker Pentecost.)

3. Embrace Your Sexuality!

It’s 2015, baby! Zanye Majik of One Dalmation is hot! It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, straight,gay, or bisexual, this is something we can all agree on. Embrace it!

4. Think Of The Big Picture!

Decisions that may make sense in the present can often have long-term consequences that stick with you longer than you may like. If I were to have made a rap name in middle school for example, I would have gotten caught up in the moment and ended up choosing something stupid like MC Is Bad At Talking To Girls. Obviously looking back I would be able to see that this would be a poor, and ultimately embarrassing, decision. A better name would be something like MC Is Really Bad At Talking To Girls.

5. Lil B Is The Only True Professor That Matters!

I never had a professor who gave off the sort of positive vibes that Lil B does on a regular basis. Seriously. All the focus in college is on “knowledge” and “working towards a successful future” and other dumb shit. But no one takes the time to ever actually teach you to be a good person. You have to learn that on your own. Or you can learn it by reading the gospel of Lil B. Whatever works for you!

6. Raw Cranberries Are Good For Lady Bodies!

Thanks Erykah! I’ll be sure to keep some in the fridge!

7. I’d Rather Be Dead Than Basic!

This one speaks for itself.

8. How To Effectively Deal With Bullies!

As great as Twitter has been to me on a personal level, I realize that there can often be a lot of negativity that comes along with it. Basically, if you have more than 1,000 followers, somebody is going to tell you that they want you to kill yourself at least once a day. But there’s plenty of ways to deal with that. Here, we have Kim Kardashian dealing with it in the most effective way possible. She acknowledges that the tweet exists so as to show her followers that this is the type of bullshit she has to put up with on a regular basis. At the same time, she doesn’t stoop to this terrible person’s level. In fact, she does the exact opposite! This is why Time Magazine listed her as one of the most 100 influential people.

9. Chuck Woolery Is Not A Fan Of Me!

Some background to this tweet because I can’t link to what I tweeted at him to garner this response since my account is private. Chuck Woolery, game show host and I guess staunch conservative now(???), tweeted, “You want even a chance of impeachment? Take the senate by storm. Nov 2014.”

I responded by saying, “bro, i’m just tryna play lingo.” Lingo, of course, being my favorite of all the Chuck Woolery-hosted game shows. Love Connection is overrated trash and I’ll fight you if you disagree.

Anyway, Chuck dealt with a bully (admittedly I was just doing the Lord’s work) the exact opposite way that Kim Kardashian dealt with her bully. For shame, Chuck! Have you no decency? I have yet to take my hand off my balls, so who really won that one?

10. Be Empathetic!

Social media has made it so easy for people to sprout their opinions at any opportunity they get, which comes with both many positive and negative consequences. One idea that you constantly hear from people is “well, [blank] can’t be a problem because I have never personally experienced said problem.” For example, “police brutality can’t exist! I was once walking my dog down the street and Officer Friendly noted that I had ‘one cute dog.’ There’s no way he would hurt another person! He likes my dog too much!” But you have to be willing to put yourself in someone else’s shoes every once in awhile (or all the time if you’re adventurous/a decent human being!) While Officer Friendly may think you have a cute dog, I may think that your dog is a truly awful turd whose only redeeming quality is that it will retrieve the paper sitting at the end of the driveway from time to time, but that appears to only be an accidental act as opposed to out of the good of its heart, so it’s not like the dog is really doing a genuine favor. What I’m trying to say is not everyone likes your dog, Janet.

11. What I Want On My Gravestone!

But seriously. There will be only 1 line in my will and it’s, “put this on my gravestone.”

12. It’s Never Too Late To Change Who You Are!

I love this tweet. I imagine most people would find it to be really dark, but I view it as very triumphant. I’m sure there was a point in this woman’s life where she never could have even dreamed of tweeting out/feeling something like this. I don’t know her, but I’m proud of her and you should be too!

13. Be Honest With Yourself And Your Limitations!

Life is hard. Life is especially hard because of our constant need to want to appear our best to others. But that doesn’t mean you should have to lie about yourself to get others to like you! Just be honest and if people don’t like you for you, then they probably aren’t worth taking up any amount of space or time in your life! As an aside, hiking seems fucking terrible and don’t ever expect me to pretend otherwise, unless Rihanna happens to be reading this and she is into hiking…

14. I Was In Rihanna’s Sex Dream!

At some point in the Year of Our Lord 2014, Rihanna officially took the title of Most Attractive Person in the World™ from Beyonce so as you can imagine, it was a truly startling thing to learn about this dream. I was shocked when I read it! It’s possible that even YOU could be in Rihanna’s sex dream. But don’t get too ahead of yourself, it’s probably just me.

15. There’s No Need To Get Philosophical. Life Is Pretty Simple!

One of the worst things about college is that all of a sudden there’s a boom in kids thinking it’s cool to be faux-deep. They take a single Philosophy of Religion course and suddenly their room is covered in Banksy posters and they are criticizing people for using social media through their social media accounts. But honestly, life really isn’t that deep. It’s not that complicated. You’re born, you go from room to room, and then you die. End of discussion, thanks for playing Banksyyyyyy!

16. Stephen A. Smith And Skip Bayless Are The Absolute Worst!

Admit it, you had to read this tweet a few times before ultimately deciding that it was a fake conversation and not a real transcript of a thing that was debated on First Take.

17. Be Careful What You Tweet!

You never know if you’ll one day become a successful average rapper (and average is being generous). With that in mind, you must be careful what sort of information you put out into the Interweb about yourself in case it comes back to haunt you. My dream of becoming a famous rapper is always in the back of my mind so I tend to avoid posting about conspiracy theories of events in which thousands of people died, but perhaps I’m just old fashioned in that sense!

18. We Still Never Learned Why Sharon Did That!

Hopefully by this point in the piece you are able to tell that I’ve learned a lot from Twitter. One of the things I have yet to learn from Twitter, however, is why Sharon did that. Why did you do that Sharon?

19. Pandora: Big Tyrese Fan!

I can’t believe Tyrese has yet to realize his mistake and hasn’t deleted this tweet yet. I hope it stays up forever. It’s something that I hope to someday share with my hypothetical children.

20. Carmelo Anthony Is A Hypocrite!

To be honest with you, I think it’s ok to be a hypocrite. I’ve always found it stupid that people, politicians in particular, get labeled as “flip floppers” and that’s somehow a negative. Circumstances change! And so do our opinions! Really, I’m just using this an excuse to post this tweet because it’s honestly the funniest thing I’ve ever read in my entire life. It combines two of my favorite things: 1) support for important social issues and, more importantly 2) making fun of Carmelo Anthony.

21. Kanye West Interviews Hold The Key To The Future!

“But what makes me happy is land, and we’re on a boat now. This is Christopher Columbus. This is uncharted waters we’re on. We’d be super happy to be on land, and also a little bit like, “Ah, the journey’s over!” But I feel like, we got the Vogue cover, Steve McQueen won the Oscar, we finally got married… You know? We have a child. We’re a family now. I am an arbiter of taste, and people think that I have the ability to make things cool — or if I’m doing it, it should be cool. And I feel that this stuff’s starting to be cool. And that feels good to me. You just might not understand it yet. But it’s cool. Family is super cool. Going home to one girl every night is super cool. Just going home and getting on the floor and playing with your child is super cool.”

Family is super cool!

22. How To Flirt!

Be forward and honest while flirting. Honesty is sexy!

23. Future is the closest thing to Jesus Christ we have on this planet!

If I handed you a passage from The Bible and the chorus to “You Deserve It” by Future, you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference. In fact, Future’s lyrics are probably more inspirational than anything spoken by God. God told some random dude to kill his son and the dude almost did it before God was like “nah jk homie” and Abraham was like “you play too much, b.” Future wouldn’t do that. Future would never do that.

24. Don’t Always Trust The Media!

The media tried to paint Cardale Jones in a negative light. They downplayed how good he actually was at video games and that is truly a travesty.

25. Turn Your Pain Into Laughter!

And here is the single most important thing I’ve learned in the past 4 years. It’s not in a textbook. It was never written on a chalkboard (Drexel, for some reason, has like the 6th highest tuition in the country and refuses to switch out their chalkboards for whiteboards because they want to test how much they can possibly hate their students and teachers). It was something that I had to find out on my own.

Do you know how traumatic this probably was for this woman? It’s one of the darkest days in American history and your boyfriend runs with that and manipulates the situation so you have sex with him. I’m sure it took her years to really get over how fucked up that is.

But she felt comfortable enough sharing it all these years later. And not only that, she did it to entertain people.

That’s beautiful to me. She took someone’s mistrust and, to quote French Montana, fanuted that into a positive.

That’s technically exactly what I’m doing by even writing this in the first place, isn’t it? College was terrible for me. It was excruciatingly bad. But Twitter… Twitter is good! And it allowed me to escape from the pain of college every once in awhile.

The thing that makes Twitter great is that, if you’re good at it, it requires a certain amount of vulnerability that isn’t necessarily required for any other form of social media. Facebook and Instagram are all about presenting your best life and that’s cool and I’m glad formats exist for that purpose (especially for interactions like this), but as an inherently cynical person, I’ve always been drawn to Twitter because it seems to be the place where people are most likely to express their more “negative” emotions. More often than not, it’s usually masked in some sort of comedic intentions, but what’s important is that it’s there. Not only is it entertaining, but it’s really healthy to have a space to talk about those sorts of issues!

The truth is I have learned more from Twitter than from college, even if this whole thing was somewhat of a joke. I’m not just saying that to say that. Twitter exposed me to a wide array of issues that were never once touched upon at either schools I attended. The closest I ever got was a Race, Gender, and Law class I took at GWU, but that was basically 14 weeks of “Brown vs. the Board of Education was monumental!” It’s an important lesson obviously, but I’ll gladly take reading tweets about feminism and the importance of Young Thug than sitting in a classroom.

If you disagree, feel free to @ me tho.

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