Interest | Art & Culture

Alternate Universe Phenomenon on Twitter

Rabu, 02 Feb 2022 13:00 WIB
Alternate Universe Phenomenon on Twitter
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Alternate Universe Phenomenon on Twitter

Social media is indeed a comfortable space for us to tell stories or simply just to check on what's happening around the world in a matter of just some taps. Users with different backgrounds and fondness over anything unite with people they share the same preferences with. One of the biggest communities on social media, specifically Twitter are fans of K-Pop. Through Twitter, they spazz or fangirl over their favorite Korean boy bands or girl bands even some of them write a long thread of the story with their favorite artists as the main character. This work of writing is mostly known as Alternate Universe-usually abbreviated as AU.

Alternate Universe itself is a description of characterized fanworks which change one or more elements such as setting, names, personality, profession, backstories, and so many more. Alternate Universe or AU is a fiction story written by fans with their favorite artist as the main character with different backgrounds-not them being a usual singer or dancer that we all already know. Different than the rest of fanfiction that we all used to read on any platform that has long paragraphs of narration, Alternate Universe on Twitter mostly uses fake chats created by the author to describe the personality, settings, even the plot, along with some artificial screenshots of other social media-like an Instagram story, Instagram post, and Tweets from Twitter. This is one of the reasons why Alternate Universe on Twitter is different than the rest of fanfiction created on other platforms for its ability to give the readers the experience of jumping right into the point of view of the characters and knowing what's happening only by some fake chat bubbles.

There are a variety of genres for Twitter AU just like other fiction works that we're all familiar with-starting from romantic, comedy, horror, thriller, angst, and many others. However, it's hard to deny the fact that fans are all hoping to be romantically involved with their idol, therefore romantic AU stories are most likely to be the favorite genre picked by fans. I personally have the experience of indulging myself in reading some of the most-talked-about AU that once created a big topic on Twitter in this certain community. It was somehow quite a big surprise for me myself that these Alternate Universe stories were and are still famously acknowledged, considering that some of them managed to hit fifty to a hundred likes on Twitter.

One of the works that happened to create a huge blow on Twitter is an Alternate Universe by user @jenovelized titled 2,578.0 KM starring Jungwoo of NCT as the main character under the name of Elio Putra Auriga. This one Alternate Universe story of hers managed to gain many 89.5K likes (and still counting). With the rising of attention from netizens, her work has been published in a form of physical books, and people who enjoyed her work immediately went for getting them pre-ordered.

To give a clearer view of what the Alternate Universe is and how it differs from other works of fiction on other platforms, I have interviewed Ayu, the author of an Alternate Universe story titled 2,578.0 KM. When I asked about her description of AU, she answers "By definition, Alternate Universes are stories that take place in a universe that's not ours. If we take my work as an example, we all know that Jungwoo is a singer and dancer of NCT-a K-Pop idol, whereas in my Alternate Universe story, he's an Indonesian writer by the name Elio."

Different from the rest of fiction works, people who read her AU story can easily imagine how the main character-Elio's physical appearance for it is described that her story is an Alternate Universe of NCT's Jungwoo. Therefore the reader could easily imagine that they are having certain situations with their idols despite the different names that they go for in an Alternate Universe story. This is one of the things that can distinguish an AU from other fiction stories.

When I asked her about what makes Twitter AU is different from the rest of fiction on other platforms she stated, "Twitter AU uses social media screenshot to 'show' the story rather than narration on Tumblr, Wattpad and Archive of Our Own which are inclined to 'tell' the story. Even though there's also a bit of narration on Twitter AU, the main aim is to 'show'"

Another point that makes an Alternate Universe story on Twitter kind of unique and distinctive is that these stories are mostly shown in form of fake social media screenshots that often feature pictures of these idols in backgrounds or situations that are in line with the plot in purpose to form an imaginative experience for the readers. This is one of the challenges for the authors who constantly have to make a compact line of stories only by fake chatroom, Twitter, and Instagram updates. Ayu's story about Elio gives a big impact on the Twitter community because of her depiction of Elio's character and personality that fans are hugely fond of.

As it has already been stated before, Ayu's Twitter AU about Elio managed to gain a lot of attention that she was given the chance to develop her story by writing the completed book version of her story, 2,578.0 KM. The first print batch got sold for 6.000 pieces and now the number is still counting. Knowing the fact that she had to write two versions of the story- Twitter AU and a book, I had to ask her regarding the difficulty of writing both versions.

"I think it was harder to write on Twitter as you can't describe everything only from Tweets, fake chats, Instagram stories. However, I personally prefer to write the narration as I could explain everything."

From my short interview with Ayu, it can be put to conclusion that writing Twitter AU is not an easy thing to do as the author has to make sure that the story, background, character's personality are all well-described only in a form of fake screenshots. However, it is such a fun experience for the readers to enjoy as they can completely immerse themselves in the experience of being in the stories without having to read full pages of long paragraphs.

[Gambas:Audio CXO]