Nathan Allebach, a social media manager who counts among his successes the Steak-umm Twitter account, believes the voguish disregard for the established rules of institutional social media traces back to the beginning of the Trump administration. For the first time in American history, he said, we have a president who constantly tweets in his own unmistakable voice.
“When the most powerful person in the world utilizes a major communication outlet with such little regard and arguably more reward than consequence, why wouldn’t everyone else follow suit?” Mr. Allebach said.
@NJGov, the official feed of the state of New Jersey, has taken that motto and run with it. Founded in 2018, the account has gained more than 178,000 followers with a distinct blend of Gen Z patois and Garden State attitude.
The account’s pinned tweet, in response to someone asking who allowed New Jersey to be on Twitter, reads simply, “your mom.” Since last December, it has accumulated 86,000 retweets. A tweet on Jan. 6, which claimed that the internet abbreviation “SMH” (“shaking my head”) stood for “Springsteen My Hero,” was liked by Mr. Springsteen’s account.
The @NJGov feed is run by Megan Coyne, 22, and her boss, Pearl Gabel, who would not give her age but described herself as an “elder millennial.” They describe an editorial process that effectively amounts to texting memes back and forth, posting the ones they like best with minimal oversight.
“It wasn’t a thought-out strategy, we just kind of started to do it,” Ms. Coyne said. “As we saw that weirder, funnier and more ridiculous things were working, we kept going forward with it.”