This American tweet to the universe


This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image obtained Feb. 3, 2012, of the nearby spiral galaxy M74. (HO)

Go ahead, try it. Tweet something to the universe. If you do, don’t be surprised if the universe, or @THEUNlVERSE, tweets you back (that’s right, there’s an ‘l’ in the middle.).

The account is taking a break as of the writing of this post so as not to trigger spam filters, according to Mashable’s Christine Erickson:

I’VE REACHED MY DAILY TWEET CAP AND I CAN’T TWEET ANYMORE FOR TODAY. LOOKS LIKE I CAN FINALLY GET A BREAK FROM YOU PEOPLE.

— THE UNIVERSE (@THEUNlVERSE) July 13, 2012

But @THEUNlVERSE has been active since April — busy responding to fellow Twitter users who mention, well, the universe.

The account was created by Reddit user “Amathev” — who claimed credit for the Twitter handywork on Reddit:

@jeremeevine MAN, THAT’S CRAZZZYYY

— THE UNIVERSE (@THEUNlVERSE) July 13, 2012

Some of the responses have been particularly amusing and, at times, even uplifting:

@1Babba STOP STUDYING, ABBEY

— THE UNIVERSE (@THEUNlVERSE) May 3, 2012

@DeeNero_Tatted SOUNDS LIKE SOMEONE NEEDS MORE PAIN IN THEIR LIFE. I’M ON THE JOB.

— THE UNIVERSE (@THEUNlVERSE) July 13, 2012

@_OohLaaa OH, GOOD I GUESS, YOU?

— THE UNIVERSE (@THEUNlVERSE) July 13, 2012

The collection of tweets is good for some Friday laughter fodder, much like the #ThisAmericanLifeStories hashtag that, earlier this week, took the twittersphere by storm. The hashtag, originally started by Cullen Crawford and given steam by comedian and character actor Patton Oswalt, according to Wired’s Underwire, has provided an outlet for Twitter fans and detractors alike to delicately — and not so delicately — mock the public radio show, which features off-beat stories on a wide variety of topics.

Here’s Oswalt’s tweet:

A small, local post office.#ThisAmericanLifeStories

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) July 10, 2012

As with @THEUNlVERSE, let the hilarity ensue:

A grass-fed cow & her grain-fed lover discuss how they make a marriage work in the most difficult of circumstances. #thisamericanlifestories

— Michaela Flack (@BeautifulMess81) July 12, 2012

How the radio is slowly killing you, over the course of an hour.#ThisAmericanLifeStories

— Matthew B. (@mattharvest) July 11, 2012

Homeopathic splinter removal. #ThisAmericanLifeStories

— ryan coleman (@rycomoleman) July 11, 2012
script src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8”>

Behind the scenes at an Ambient Sound Effect Creators Convention #ThisAmericanLifeStories

— imaginarybar (@IMAGINARYBAR) July 10, 2012

The response from “This American Life”? Sweet, sweetRevenge.

Two can play at this game. #pattonoswaltroles

— This American Life (@ThisAmerLife) July 10, 2012

That’s right: A competing hashtag, #pattonoswaltroles, giving users an opportunity to list unlikely characters Oswalt might play.

Both @THEUNlVERSE and #ThisAmericanLifeStories are relatively innocuous, and are just two of a number of social media moments where a large group of people can come together to do something pretty simple but in­cred­ibly valuable: Make us laugh.

Hey, universe, are you listening?

(Thanks to Christine Erickson’s write-up at Mashable for bringing @THEUNlVERSE to my attention).

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