The Most Ordinary Account on Twitter, and Why You Should Follow It

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 3 2012 4:15 PM

Follow Friday: @NormalTweetGuy

@NormalTweetGuy has a pretty normal profile pic

@NormalTweetGuy lives an ordinary life. He hates Mondays, eats predictable lunches, watches football on weekends, and is, by turns, busy at work or bored at work. Sometimes his boss gives him a hard time.

Chad Lorenz Chad Lorenz

Chad Lorenz is Slate's news editor. He has written for the Washington Post and the Washingtonian.

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Why bother following a Twitter feed full of such mundane drivel? Because @NormalTweetGuy is a genius.

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It’s easy to lump NormalTweetGuy into the same class of feeds as @EveryTweet_Ever and @ClicheTweet, feeds that play off of the notion—usually held by non-Twitter users—that the primary use of the platform is to announce what we had for breakfast and when we've gone to the bathroom.

NormalTweetGuy does operate in a similar vein, but what sets him apart is his infectious exuberance. Somehow, he manages to achieve a deadpan effect with the opposite of deadpan delivery. Literally every tweet ends with an exclamation point, elevating the most quotidian announcements into causes for celebration: “Packed a lunch today! Trying to save money!” and “Laundry day too because I forgot to do it yesterday!” Often, he boosts the effect with dreadfully generic hashtags: #Friday, #football, #sotired.

What’s more, NTG brings an endearing personality to his ostensibly boring character, and even a narrative arc, complete with wonderfully humdrum twitpics. Examined closely, the events of NTG’s life begin to seem intriguing, even mysterious. Why is he always so tired? Is his girlfriend equally bland, or is she merely resigned to this man? Are his days truly free of enriching details, or is NTG just unwilling to reveal them?  Do those exclamation marks convey an enviable joie de vivre, or do they mask a silent misery?

Some of NTG’s followers have tried to crack the veneer of his anonymity—to no avail.

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The only known interview the author agreed to was in character

Maybe NormalTweetGuy delights us because we recognize such banality in our own lives. Occasionally when I am tempted to tweet a personal observation, I realize it's not far removed from something NTG might remark. (“I hate it when the train is late!” I might say. Or “I should have dressed warmer for work today!”) Good thing I refrain: NormalTweetGuy cleverly skewers oblivious Twitterers by responding to real-life dispatches that are as pointless as his own, or retweeting them. Ouch.

Well, back to work!

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