universe

The Universe talks back to Twitter users

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Want to know the secrets of The Universe? Now you can, thanks to the Twitter parody account @THEUNlVERSE (spelled with a lower-case “L” instead of a capital “I”).

The handle, created by redditor Amathev, replies to users who mention the word “universe” in their tweets. The responses are usually hilarious and unsolicited. They are also in all caps, so as to express the gravitas his persona deserves. ("TWEETS ASSEMBLE AT MY OWN FREE WILL. CAPS HAS BEEN PERMANENTELY ENABLED AS A SIGN OF MY POWER," he explained.)

@THEUNlVERSE was first created on April 17, 2012 (take that, astrophysicists!), a day after Amathev—a native of Göteborg, Sweden (the Nordic country has a track record of colorful Twitter users)—saw a friend directly address the Universe in a tweet. “I decided to make the account as a joke on her tweet,” he told the Daily Dot.  "While waiting on her response I decided to search for ‘universe’ on the Twitter feed and tweet to others.”

At first, Amathev would tweet occasionally, usually on his way to work or whenever he was bored. That all changed on Friday, July 13, when he shared his parody account on Reddit’s r/Funny. Thousands of upvotes later, @THEUNlVERSE made its way to the front page. That’s when it really took off. “It hit about 5,000 [followers] after it had been on Reddit for a couple of hours,” Amathev said. “Before that I had about 50 followers.” Since then, he’s been tweeting to his more than 12,500 followers.

Amathev claims that he created @THEUNlVERSE for his personal amusement and to practice comedic quick-thinking. Becoming an overnight Internet celebrity was never the goal. Sharing it on Reddit was “an afterthought.”

The tone of @THEUNlVERSE depends on how Twitter users address it. “Typically, if you’re angry with The Universe, The Universe will get angry back,” said Amathev. “If you’re happy with The Universe, then The Universe will be positive, or boast like an egomaniac.” In other words, @THEUNlVERSE is mercurial.

“Although The Universe would never admit to it, it's very emotional and run by its own mood. The Universe will be malevolent most of the time, but can actually end up being benevolent to certain people.

Amathev says that the responses he’s gotten have been mostly positive. “I was completely surprised by how overjoyed people seemed, and how I would get responses like ‘you made my day,’ or ‘you made me laugh like an idiot in front of everyone at the bus.’”  

His biggest coup to date was being acknoweldged by two of the hosts of the JimAndThem.com podcast. “They seemed to love the whole thing and congratulated me on Twitter,” wrote Amathev. “For me that was the biggest moment.”

Despite the overwhelming positive response, running the account hasn’t been entirely hunky-dory. In one particular situation, Amathev debated replying to a user who tweeted about someone passing away. Against his better judgement, he responded anyway. “It felt more like I was trying to bring comedy into a sad situation,” he wrote. “I’d probably say that I’ve learnt my lesson and won’t be responding to many sad tweets in the future.”

Amathev doesn’t think @THEUNlVERSE will be going anywhere anytime soon. Audiences seem to like the account, and because he’s currently on vacation, he’s got more than enough time to please the denizens of Earth. Once that month-long break is over, however, Amathev warns that the rate of expansion (and responding) will slow down.

Photo via Twitter