The joy of having so many contrasting interests and passions is that when one loses momentum or turns a little sour, you can switch to another. Straddling completely different worlds means you never get bored. When the beauty industry seems to be spewing an unpleasant brew of capitalism and narcissism, I can switch to video games. When the thrill of shooting villainous crooks in the head and the adolescent insults that come with it become so unbearable they have me wanting to hold a pistol to my own head, there is the glorious world of food. I could go on for some time like this. The ‘stuff I love’ list is immense.
By far, the community that dominates my Twitter feed more than any other at the moment is that of British wrestling. Whether fans, staff or wrestlers themselves, it’s impossible to click refresh without at least one hashtag-Brit-wres update. That in itself isn’t a problem. Belonging to a group and being part of something bigger than yourself is quite wonderful.
The problem with British wrestling lately has been its general demeanour. The sniping had reached levels of bitchiness fierce enough to rival Joan Rivers on the red carpet. The subtweeting and passive aggression were becoming depressing to the point of not wanting to hit refresh at all. All communities move that way sometimes, but the trend seemed to be shifting toward trashing people, bookings and promotions folk didn’t like, as opposed to championing what we actually loved.
Resulting from a conversation where a few of us observed and sighed over the imbalance, we decided to dedicate last Wednesday to a day of nice tweets: 24 hours of positivity, saying lovely things about and in the direction of great people, and generally having a silver lining day. Everyone was encouraged to join in, but those who weren’t into it were not made to feel bad about their abstinence.
The nice tweets ran a veritable gauntlet of compliments. Some took the opportunity to let their friends know how much they adore them. Others kept it simple and praised their favourite wrestler’s best match. There were warm sentiments ranging from ‘You’re alright, dude’ to ‘I love you madly’.
There were, unsurprisingly, a few cynics. But the most interesting development of the day was watching the initial doubters become a little more warm an fuzzy as people paid them compliments. And once they’d graciously accepted, they felt the desire to pay it forward and write some nice tweets of their own. It was absolute proof that positivity breeds itself. However much or little we care to admit it, we all like being told that we’re a great friend or at the top of our game. We’re all a smidge insecure and wonder if we’re appreciated as much as we deserve to be. There is something incredibly edifying about both giving and receiving praise.
I have no desire to turn Twitter or certainly the British wrestling community into some saccharine utopia where we bake cakes made of rainbows and smiles. Even if I did, there’d be a husky gay boy in a hoodie and sunglasses shouting “She doesn’t even go here!” quicker than I could whimper that I just have a lot of feelings. I use Twitter to grumble about the minutiae of modern existence as much as anyone. And if you claim never to have hit send on a subtweet, you’ll have to give me a moment while I grab my crampons and scale the mountain where upon your moral high ground rests. No, really. I admire you.
But the number of people who ended the day in a fantastic mood rather than in a pit of disgruntlement and self-loathing was gratifying. It reached far beyond any impact I expected our little game of mutual appreciation to have. The small minority who believed the love-in was false clearly missed the point entirely. It was one of the more satisfying examples of ‘you get what you give’ I’ve had the pleasure of playing a hand in. Because the only thing better than receiving a compliment that makes your day is hearing “Thank you. That really made my day.” in return.
Why not send a #nicetweet now? Go on. You know you want to.