The endless noise of the Twitter timeline can be a bit much, to say the least. From the latest inane statement of a world leader (these days, they’re a dime a dozen) to friends’ horrified reactions to a live-action adaptation’s movie trailer (and in 2019, you have your pick of those too), a mere scroll through one’s timeline can elicit an entire range of emotions in seconds. Amidst the reactionary memes and just-kidding-but-not-really nihilist tweets, however, there is one that stands out from the rest – a singular tweet simply wishing you good morning and telling you that “you are not alone”. Or, depending on the time of the day, a tweet wishing you good night and reinforcing the theme of that morning’s message.
These tweets come courtesy of Lin-Manuel Miranda – perhaps best known as the creator of the “Hamilton” musical – and are a refreshing breath of encouragement and positivity in what can be a cynical and toxic Twitter landscape. When active on Twitter, Miranda sends his tweets out every weekday morning, from his personal, public account, having chosen to spend his weekends off the platform. Having started the tweets in 2011 as a way to “[keep] [himself] honest”, the growth of Miranda’s audience – and Twitter’s user base – over the years has seen a surge in their popularity, with a “Gmorning!” or “Gnight!” tweet able to rack up tens of thousands of likes. In fact, the demand for a tangible compilation of his tweets was so great that in 2018, he published a physical book – “Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You”.
And why wouldn’t Miranda’s tweets capture the Twittersphere’s imagination? At their heart, they’re little affirmations that thousands – including myself – use to bookend their day (time differences notwithstanding), serving as a minute, almost-personalised means of encouragement. When trawling through can sometimes be a bottomless cesspool of hatred and negativity (no matter how carefully you curate who you follow and what you see, something is bound to slip through), Miranda’s tweets feel like a lifeline to safer shores. In crafting his messages based on his own hopes, fears, and dreams, he captures the sentiments that prevail amongst other Twitter users; and it’s this shared connection that has played into the popularity of the messages.
However, the good morning and good night tweets aren’t an isolated bubble of constant positivity. As Miranda reacts to the goings-on in the world, the tweets serve as an outlet for him to respond to those situations; and crucially, he’s usually able to find the right words to say. On the day of the Christchurch shootings, Miranda’s “Gmorning” tweet, did not reference the event directly, but its poignant tone was assuaged by its emphasis to “tell ‘em you love ‘em”. This spirit of resilience in the face of unspeakable tragedy was reflective in the replies to the original tweet, with hundreds of strangers tweeting messages of love and support, both to Miranda and to each other.
As I navigate through my timeline of surprising sporting statistics and prevailing political debates, I find it incredibly easy to buy into the cycle of negativity one gets caught in when they spend time online. And yet, for every tribulation I’m confronted with the moment I open the Twitter app, a “Gmorning!” tweet from Miranda serves as a gentle reminder: hey, we’re all in this together. Even if it’s nothing more than a funny gif or a link to a song, the near-daily tweets are a moment of humanity in the endless sea of mostly inane things that I scroll through. For all the shtick that platforms like Twitter get, presences like Miranda’s prove that there is yet some solace – and hope – to be found in our daily trawls through the digital world; we just have to filter through the rest of the murk to get to it.