You’re idiots but I love you;

Or,

Hate-reading: a field guide.

There exists a dark underbelly to the Internet: Twitter accounts unloved by many but capable of bringing great pleasure to those in the know. These are the HATE-READS.

A hate-reading taxonomy

1. The vegan

2. The conspicuous consumer

3. The investor

4. The quietly desperate to prove their life isn’t terrible

5. The wannabe artist/musician/writer

6. The consumer rights advocate

7. The purchaser of stuff

How to hate-read effectively

1. Ensure an appropriate emotional distance

Never hate-read a friend or relative. You’re too emotionally invested. The masochism will spill into the real world and you’ll find yourself smiling while mentioning to your sister-in-law that her tweet complaining about the parking provision in Edinburgh made her look a dick. A friend of a friend is the best hate-read author. Knowing they exist but having no direct real-world interaction with the writer amplifies your reading pleasure.

2. Never follow, never reply

They seek validation through their egocentric social media expression. By causing their followers list to jump into double-digits will only encourage them. Like RT-ing Donald Trump.

3. Learn from their dark ways

It’s very easy to make yourself look like a fuckwad. Ask yourself — what would @cakesthebrain think of this tweet? If you imagine me with a raised eyebrow, abandon your tweet composition post-haste #aytcph

How to avoid becoming hate-read fodder

1. Avoid opinions

Fitzgerald said the mark of intelligence was to be able to hold two opposing views in your mind at once. He was writing ages ago, however, long before Myspace even. Try having all the opinions in your head at once. Then you won’t feel obliged to share them all on Twitter. Or you’ll go so mental, you’re unable to type.

2. Never post images to social media

Nothing good has come of uploading pictures onto the web. Unless you’re part of an international terrorist organisation. And, if that’s the case, you need no lessons from me in hate-reading. BOOM*.

3. Block everybody

Emily Dickinson compared publishing poetry to a frog croaking over a bog. Twitter fits this analogy — but swap the frog for a dog, the croak for piss and the marsh for a lamppost. Tweeting and Facebooking and Instagraming and Snapchatting and Vineing and Periscoping and the rest of it are clearly natural vehicles for self-expression, right? But, in the same way that you generally use the toilet privately, double-check that you have no followers before you post images of your art installation project. This will ensure there is nobody there to hate-read you/watch you piss.

*‘Boom’ as in ‘you got told’. Not ‘boom’ as in ‘explode’.

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