Those who travel the social media streets most days won’t be a stranger to the term ‘subtweet’. They say it's been around since 2009.

Since then, we’ve seen celebrities both locally and abroad take umbrage from a tweet with some kind of implicit insult, sparking twars that are lapped up by celebrity gossip mongers.

Last year the shade that was thrown at SupaMega (rap superstar, AKA) from ‘Abuti Fill Up’ (rapper Cassper Nyovest) actually turned into a hashtag organically.

Read more: Have we become obsessed with a culture of online shaming?

AKA threw what seemed to be an olive branch to Cassper offering to perform at his most recent concert, to which Cassper responded (without replying or @ing AKA): 

‘Just buy a ticket to #FillupFNBstadium broer’.

Fans followed up with the #justbuyaticket hashtag and the rest is history.

The point I’m making is that when celebrities subtweet each other, we all kind of know the context in which the conversation is taking place, but when Susan from marketing starts throwing shade at Thapelo from management in a #justfileacomplaint tweet – nobody cares.

(Unless of course you are insulting a woman, POC, anyone from the LGBTQI community, anyone with a handicap, previous disadvantage or oppression of any kind – then we all care, from the comfort of our mobile phones.)

My mom asked me what throwing shade is – because she’s a cool mom, and uses terms like “diss", "beef", and there was the day she dropped the pearl of ‘ska borra moreki’ – so I tried finding the etymology of shade throwing.

I’m speculating here but I think if you follow this train of thought, you’ll agree.

So, to make my previous point, I had to look up what umbrage meant and discovered it meant ‘offense’. Both given and taken, however it is also an archaic word which means shade or shadow, especially cast by trees.

How bout da?!

We’ve been throwing old English at each other, draped in millennial swag. 

The post-breakup pop-psychology motivational post on the gram or Facebook is possibly my worst form of sub.

Read more: It's #TuesdayTruths with Nina Hastie

I know this because I do it and then regret it afterwards.

Nothing screams: “My boyfriend was cheating on me and I eventually left his sorry ass” as much as a #MondayMotivation post themed on reclaiming your life.

This is the passive aggressive sub, which often falls on deaf ears (or blocked accounts).

Honey, if you guys broke up, we all know you blocked him, his friends, the girl he once looked at too long at a club, the girl he says is his friend but you’re suspicious of and anyone else who prompted a block on the day and is therefore not seeing your post break-up/pre glow-up psychobabble.

And maybe that’s a good thing.

In summation, my advice on subbing is… just don’t.

You’re just attracting energy to an already charged space and inviting other people into the fray. 

Happy Tuesday, hope you find your truth!


Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on W24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of W24.

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