An Odd, Uplifting 'Alien': Meet The Man Behind A 'Weird Twitter' Star : All Tech Considered Jonathan Sun, MIT student: "I thought it would be interesting to look at the world as an outsider." Jonnysun, Twitter celebrity: "*pets a skeleton* u used to b a baby"
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An Odd, Uplifting 'Alien': Meet The Man Behind A 'Weird Twitter' Star

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An Odd, Uplifting 'Alien': Meet The Man Behind A 'Weird Twitter' Star

An Odd, Uplifting 'Alien': Meet The Man Behind A 'Weird Twitter' Star

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Jonathan Sun is a Ph.D. candidate at MIT and he writes plays. But he's become best-known so far as jonnysun. That's his name on Twitter. His description on Twitter reads - and I'll just read it as written - (reading) aliebn confuesed abot humamn lamgauge.

Sounds odd and that's the point. Most of what jonnysun tweets is purposely misspelled and haphazard, but still manages to say something. Jonathan Sun is part of what's sometimes called weird Twitter, and he has more than 120,000 followers. Jonathan Sun joins us from the studios of MIT. Thanks so much for being with us.

JONATHAN SUN: Thank you for having me on, Scott.

SIMON: And who is jonnysun?

SUN: He's a - I guess he, it, is an alien, but this character kind of emerged just through writing on Twitter and writing jokes on Twitter and playing with the idea of misspellings. So I guess from the alien side I thought it'd be interesting to look at the world as an outsider to kind of use that naive viewpoint and this idea of curiosity and learning about the planet that we live on.

SIMON: Here - one of your most popular tweets. Read it as written (reading) look - lowercase look - life is bad. evryones sad. we're all gona die. but i alredy bought this inflatable boumcy castle so r u gona take ur shoes off or wat (ph) (laughter).

Why do you think so many people pass that around?

SUN: I think it's - I think it kind of speaks to the attitude of the world today of - especially on Twitter where information moves so fast. And on Twitter the only, like - the reason why people share things are either the information is incredibly positive or incredible negative. So we see this crazy bias of news and information. And with the inflatable bouncy castle, it's - I think it's successful because it's this specific moment of happiness. It has this overwhelmingly positive affect.

SIMON: I wonder, knowing that millions of people, with all the artiste in particular lumped in, might read something you wrote on Twitter, does it increase your sense of responsibility?

SUN: Absolutely. I think anyone with that kind of means of getting an idea out has some sort of social responsibility.

SIMON: You followed the shootings in San Bernardino with observations like this. You have, tweet (reading) year 2030 - son - Dad, what were mass shootings like before i was born? Me - well, it may be hard to imagine, but on some days they didnt happen (ph).

Did you feel the need to say something because there's so many people now who - they don't know you are perhaps, but they they look forward to hearing something from jonnysun?

SUN: I just felt I think as a person personally I was so upset and overwhelmed by these events that I needed some sort of outlet to express myself or to talk about it to just get my worries out there.

SIMON: Jonathan Sun - on Twitter @jonnysun. Thanks so much for being with us.

SUN: Thank you.

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