The Swarthmore Twitter-Sphere: Artist Profiles

14 mins read

When thinking of starting a series in which I would delve into the dark depths of the Swarthmore Twitter-Sphere and profile infamous Swarthmore Twitter users, I went back and forth as to whether or not it should happen. As they say, “What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” so I felt like the very concept of this series was abandoning that vital rule and opening the floodgates to a stream of chaos. How would one tweet if they knew it was subject to scrutiny on /The/ Swarthmore Phoenix? The confidentiality existing among Swarthmore students and their Twitter mutuals is something of beauty, tact, and elegance. Ruining that sacred bond and opening up tweets to the general Swarthmore community at large is a very scary thought indeed…

That being said, I’ve become greatly interested in exploring the crevices of the Swarthmore Twitter-Sphere. To get an all encompassing view of what it means to be a part of this sphere. To live and breathe it on a daily basis. Some say it doesn’t even exist, denouncing it as simply being an urban myth, while others say that it can’t exist even if we wanted it to due to lack of institutional memory or something (a classic Swattie excuse). I want to demystify this however, and take a dive into a place no one has dared to go. Going about this involves a multitude of things to take into consideration, but a very basic part is profiling the Twitter users who are part of this elusive sphere.

As I am aware of the intimate and very private nature of what it means to be a part of this elusive community, I have decided to act as a martyr in a sense. Some may claim that it is intellectually wrong, even dishonest to profile yourself. It is. That being said, I didn’t think it wise to put anyone else on the line like this. To strip someone of their very dignity just to have Swarthmore students from the year 3000 look in the Phoenix archives and cruelly chide them. Chide away Class of 3004s! Chide away!


With that out of the way, we will get into our very first guest, Twitter user @[redacted], me! Nearly all of my Tweets are a reference to Swarthmore, hence the very true, “i don’t know why anyone who doesn’t go to swarthmore still follows me” (Tweeted September 6, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.).

I think the day that really solidified my status in the Swarthmore Twitter-Sphere was July 4, 2018 at 3:08 p.m. A national holiday, which was a very fitting background for such a monumental day. Almost as if it came in a fever dream, I tweeted out:

“someone: where do u go to school?

me: swarthmore

them: …

me: it’s a trade school in northern ireland i’m trying to get a degree in welding”

Call it luck, chance, Liz Braun, or whatever other higher power rules over this campus, but the typing of these words marked the moment I was destined for greatness. As I clicked “Tweet,” I never thought that a tweet that said that Swarthmore is a trade school in Northern Ireland that gives degrees in welding would blow up in the fashion that it did.

But trust me, it did, and my life would never be the same.

2 Replies (both by me, but still). 10 Retweets. 79 Likes. 3,438 Impressions(!!!).

At one fell swoop, I would be formally inducted to the Swarthmore Twitter-Sphere. It’s different for everyone in terms of how it happens. An extraordinarily viraltweetsuch as my own certainly isn’t necessary, but it can help. For some it comes easier than others. Some are even seemingly born into it.

So what is this so called sphere? That is a loaded question, and one that will unravel throughout this multi-part all-encompassing series. All I can do now is attempt to give a snapshot of what the landscape is now.

That is to say that I’m about to show you all a shit ton of my Swarthmore related Tweets. Do you do anything except tweet about Swarthmore you ask? No! Through me doing this, you’ll hopefully be able to get a sense of what it means to be part of the Swarthmore Twitter-Sphere. Here, we are all connected, all seemingly one. I know that I can tweet about Sharples and get at least four or five favorites from devout fans who also are in awe of the majestic powers of the Powerade. The bond that we share, as I said above, is unexplainable.

Tweets come in multiple different fashions in the Swarthmore Twitter-Sphere. Some are about Swarthmore just generally kinda fucking us over:

“not to sound like a broken record but swarthmore has truly ruined me… like how am i supposed to function in capitalist mccapitcal world now…. i think i might just die” (Tweeted June 5, 2018 at 5:47 p.m.)

“yea so this whole “swarthmore” thing? ..i’m kinda over it” (Tweeted May 12, 2018 (finals season lol) at 6:25 p.m.)

“oh my god i’m not ready to go home for the summer i just know swarthmore has broken me and made me the opposite of a constructive member of society i’m so ready to combust the moment i leave the swat bubble” (Tweeted May 5, 2018 at 4:01 p.m.)

“what has swat done to me…….why do i miss her so much…….what kind of sick dirty joke is this” (Tweeted May 25, 2018 at 7:23 p.m.)

Others can just turn out to be vague musings about Swat:

“Swarthmore, It’s Been Fun! *starts flapping away*” (Tweeted September 15, 2018 at 10:25 p.m.) (“this was good” was tweeted in response to this, also by me, 19 days later on October 4, 2018 at 9:24 p.m.)

“swarthmore? haven’t heard that name in years……….” (Tweeted October 16, 2018 at 3:07 p.m.)

“swarthmore is an animal crossing village: discuss” (Tweeted October 12, 2018 at 7:29 a.m. (yikes))

“swarthmore specific tweets will never not make me laugh. someone could tweet “swarthmore” and i’d b like RIGHT lol this guy gets it” (Tweeted August 14, 2018 at 1:21 p.m.)

“DONT say hi to me at swat if it’s past 7 pm i have terrible night vision and will definitely ignore you” (Tweeted October 7, 2018 at 7:15 p.m.)

“i’ve managed to avoid someone at swat for a whole three days. this is a record” (Tweeted April 11, 2018 at 8:49 p.m.)

The swim class that Swarthmore forced me to take upon failing the swim test of course was a topic of much discussion as well, of course:

“if swarthmore thinks i’m gonna shower after swimming they’ve got another thing coming……. if they’re making me take this class they’re gonna deal with the consequences (me smelling like chlorine)” (Tweeted September 10, 2018 at 11:26 a.m.)

“my swim class that i need to take because i failed the swim test starts this week and i don’t have a swim suit and there’s nowhere in the town of swarthmore that sells swim suits” (Tweeted September 1, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.) (Professor Timothy Burke replied with on September 1, 2018 at 11:13 a.m. Thanks Tim!)

“this swim class is so funny to me idk…. like swat is really forcing me to do this…..” (Tweeted September 5, 2018 at 11:29 a.m.)

Others (lots and lots and lots of others!!), obviously, involve Sharples:

“just had my first swarthmore hotdog since coming back :O still tastes just as good..” (Tweeted August 20, 2018 at 10:16 a.m.)

“i try to avoid making eye contact with people at sharples but somehow end up staring at everyone” (Tweeted October 8, 2018 at 3:25 p.m.)

“the fact that sharples serves steamed brussel sprouts is an actual hate crime against us” (Tweeted October 3, 2018 at 3:19 p.m.)

“like father like son (like sharples like crumb cafe)” (Tweeted September 28, 2018 at 8:20 p.m.)

“the grill being out of order in sharples really is the school’s way of killing me off” (Tweeted September 23, 2018 at 2:35 p.m.) (to which @[redacted] replied on September 23, 2018 at 4:13 p.m. “natural selection” Ouch.)

“people whose fb profile pics were taken in sharples can’t be trusted 95% of the time” (Tweeted September 16, 2018 at 8:13 a.m.)

“i love having my laptop out at sharples like i’m doing important work when it’s really just twitter… who’s gonna stop me?!??! ok maybe dessert lady will stop me” (Tweeted September 6, 2018 at 1:53 p.m.)

“sitting in sharples, on twitter, eating salad with my green powerade: heaven” (Tweeted September 6, 2018 at 1:51 p.m.)

“in sharples like 2 hours before i actually wanna eat bc i had so much anxiety about finding a table at 6:30…. this school has too much power over me” (Tweeted September 4, 2018 at 1:26 p.m.)

“sharples put a light sprinkling of pepper on their fries today i think they’re stepping it up this year guys” (Tweeted September 3, 2018 at 9:22 a.m. Note: I was an optimistic fool…)

“ok time to take another 6 months to work up the courage to ask for something from the grill at swat” (Tweeted August 21, 2018 at 9:34 a.m.)

And then I’ve got a whole subset of Tweets just directed at pot roast bar:

“my trifecta of foods at swarthmore: gummy frogs from essies, wonton egg drop soup from sci, and pot roast bar from sharples” (Tweeted September 10, 2018 at 6:05 p.m.)

“was having a bad day but they have pot roast at sharples so…..everything might just be ok” (Tweeted September 9, 2018 at 2:03 p.m.) (to which @[redacted] replied on September 9, 2018 at 7:01 p.m. “your twitter is just sharples yelp i love it) Accurate description!)

“controversial opinion but the pot roast and smashed potatoes at sharples is the best meal” (Tweeted August 26, 2018 at 8:26 a.m.)

And with that, we reach our conclusion! A taste of the Swarthmore Twitter-Sphere. A self indulgent exploration at some of my finest work. An artist’s profile of some sort, in which all of my works are nude self portraits, exposing the deepest and most intimate parts of myself. Not sure what you gained from this, but I entertained myself! Until next time! *starts flapping away*

Dylan Clairmont

Dylan Clairmont '21 edits for the Campus Journal. He is a DPA, a board member of SQU, and a board member of Swat Dems. He is interested in capturing the current climate of campus and including that in The Phoenix.

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