Two years ago, in the the wake of citizen protests following the re-election of controversial Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a funny thing happened on Twitter. Users began adding a green tint to their avatars in order to show support for the protesters, and for the emerging pro-democracy movement in the Middle East. Using my own Twitter as a point of comparison, it looked a little something like this…
But just as the so-called “Arab Spring” has grown outward from Iran to other countries such as Egypt and Libya, so too has the scope and meaning of chroma-key microblog avatars.
Much like the old-timey hanky code, in which closeted, Victorian-era homosexuals used a complex semaphore of handkerchief coloring and placement to discreetly broadcast their sexual preferences to like-minded gentlemen in the know, tinting your Twitter avatar to a specific color can be used to convey a wide variety of messages, from the incendiary to the mundane. It’s a surprisingly effective way to communicate, but only if you know how to read the clues. Save yourself the embarrassment of misinterpreted data and commit the following to memory. And yes, there will be a test on this later.
(No time to read this bullshit? Get one color tweeted at you per day.)
First up, you have the red-purple color spectrum. These are personal and political messages that appeal to concerns located in the upper left of the cerebral cortex:
Next are the greens and blues. These touch on issues that appeal to the neurotransmitters located in nerve clusters on the front third of the brain pate.
Next is the orange-yellow grouping. Most of the topics covered here are also touched upon in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Whereas the teal-fuschia grouping is a true grab bag of human depravity:
File your mauves and tans under “miscellaneous”:
You are now fully equipped to be part of the cultural conversation. And be sure to use readjust your computer monitor’s color settings every few months to avoid embarrassing misunderstandings…