Bumper Stickers: The Original Tweet!

What do bumper stickers and tweets have in common? Lots! If you think about it, the similarities abound. In both forums, we try to get across our political affiliations, religious views, environmental stances, professions/hobbies and personal pet peeves into a compressed form of communication. And likely, nobody really cares. The ones who don’t like your words, will have unfavorable responses in one of two ways. If it’s on Twitter, they’ll tweet back their opposing views or unfollow you. If they’re behind you at the red light, you’re lucky. They’ll just give you the finger as they fly past. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be parked and discover your car has been keyed. Either way, you get a reply or response. Congratulations!

Here are some of the ways bumper stickers and tweets are similar:

Character limit: Clearly you can’t write a whole story on the back of a bumper. Just as Twitter limits you to the communication equivalent of a quickie, so does a bumper sticker. It’s a sound bite, people. It’s just enough to give the random stranger online or behind you at the stop light a flavor of who you are. Or who you PRETEND to be.

Clamor for attention: Just as there are those who try to shock other drivers and passengers, there will be those online who like to say things merely for the attention. It’s annoying. Generally these people have multiple bumper stickers or they clog up your twitter feed with senseless information. When I’m on the road, I generally pass a car quickly if they have too many bumper stickers. Otherwise my obsessive-compulsive side will have to read every sticker. Same goes for Twitter. I’ve had to unfollow people who tweet too much. Not everything is important! Your interesting stickers/tweets are ignored due to the flooding of distracting information.

Just a bit distracting.  Will need to unfollow.

Just a bit distracting. Will need to unfollow.

Self-promotion: From Mary Kay to personal businesses, cars advertise their companies. Twitter is a social media bumper sticker. Promote yourself in 140 characters or less! Make your characters count. Hashtag if you have to.

Trending topics: Just as Twitter has a section for what’s trending, so do our bumpers. From political statements to environmental issues, we like to discuss what’s trending in our world today. Sometimes our cars are older, and the issue that was trending years ago is merely a joke now. Example: political candidates who lost eight years ago.

Pointless observations: When people discuss their sandwich choices or how many cups of coffee they’ve had to drink on a particular day, it bothers me just as much as random statements on the back of a bumper.

Follow the Leader: On Twitter, we simply click a button to follow someone, and it’s our choice. On the road, you might get stuck behind someone who’s advertising his or her life, and you still have to follow them, regardless if you agree with personal statements on the bumper. Just the same as on the road, sometimes on social media, you end up with a random follower who may not have your best interests at heart.

Retweeting and Replying: We can retweet with a one-second click. With bumpers, it’s the same. In the case of sports teams or schools, people basically retweet their bumper stickers with every soccer ball sticker or school emblem. Hey, look at us! We’re part of the same cool group. In the case of replying, the two mediums are different. On Twitter, you can have a private conversation with your friends for the whole Twitter community to enjoy. I actually find this incredibly annoying when it goes on for too long. If you have social media, I’m pretty sure you know how to text. When people start slapping stickers on their cars as a direct response to someone else’s sticker, then we’re going to have problems. Trying to chase down the original bumper is going to be hard. Same thing with tweets. Sometimes I get half of a conversation, and I’m like, “Huh?”

TMI: I don’t understand why people like to share too much personal information. Nowadays, the back of your car can identify BY NAME the kids in your family via stick figures. Stickers proudly announce the sports they play and the schools they attend. It’s like a welcome wagon to pedophiles, kidnappers and burglars. Your life is advertised for every literate criminal who has access to the road. The same can be said for Twitter. We announce when we’re out of town with the family. We post pictures and tell when we’re expected home. Hello, robbers? Welcome to my empty home. For those interested, please google crime from bumper stickers. It’s a very real thing. Not only do criminals use the information they gather, but prosecutors can do the same thing during an investigation.

Actual Twitter Bumper Stickers: This goes along with the one above. There are now bumper stickers with twitter addresses so you can get even more personal information about the driver. Criminals used to have to work harder. Now, we’re making their jobs so much easier. Not only are they privy to where your kids go to school and every activity you enjoy, but now they can also immediately access what you think online. And if you’re so willing to put it all out there via the back of your van, I’m thinking you’ll be doing the same on social media. Where will it end? Just say no!

The value of discussing bodily functions: This is never-ending humor. Whether it’s on the bumper or a tweet, fart jokes never get old. I have read them via both mediums. I’ve seen the bumper sticker that says the driver is speeding because he/she has to poop. I haven’t seen the tweet yet from anyone I follow, but I’m sure if I search it with a hashtag, I’ll find it. #Fart #Poop #AlwaysFunny?

Lazy evangelism: I’ve seen the bumper stickers about God. I’ve read the tweets about Him as well. Listen, people. In the forty-five seconds a sinner is at the stop sign behind you, he or she is not going to get saved. I can promise you that. They aren’t even going to remember the verse when they get home. And a tweet’s not gonna do it either.

I love quotes. I have documents full of inspirational quotes and witty sayings. There are times when I read something on my twitter feed, and it makes me smile or laugh or think. There are even bumper stickers that do the same.

I’ll end today’s rant with fifteen of my favorites:

Favorite hashtag on Twitter? #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Do you love or hate bumper stickers and Twitter? Or do you love one and hate the other? Rant away if you’re so inclined. Or just comment with your favorite bumper sticker. We all have them. Even those of us who claim to hate them.
And by the way, feel free to follow me on  Twitter. 🙂  As I don’t have any bumper stickers on my van, you’ll be bored following me on the road though.

43 thoughts on “Bumper Stickers: The Original Tweet!

  1. I love bumper stickers! Okay, not on my car, but on everyone else’s. I love getting stuck behind people and putting together their life story by staring at their rear. (The rear of their car, I mean.)

    I do worry when people give too much away on the back of their car (ie, names of kids, how old they same, especially when paired with their school information etc.)

    Anywho, I love these. Great blog, Kim!!

    1. Marnee,
      I do the same thing. I call it Bumper Sticker Lives. I make up a life for the people in the car based on their car and the bumper stickers.
      Yes. Having too much information on your car is asking for trouble.

  2. Ha ha. Great post, Kim! I love your examples. I have to admit, I’m really bad at remembering quotes, but one comes to mind. (Although it is on a coffee mug, not a bumper sticker, and although you’ve already heard this one): in reference to poker: “I don’t even fold laundry.” This one just cracks me up.

    1. Oh, I fold laundry, Pintip! Sometimes the same load multiple times. Kids have a way of snatching one thing out of the pile, so it all tumbles down. Thanks for the fun quote, though. 🙂

  3. So funny! I like to use bumper stickers as a warning system– they let me know whom to stay FAR far away from. Now stop distracting me with all your adorable hilarity, so I can get these revisions done! One bumper sticker you’ll never see on my car: I’D RATHER BE REVISING

    1. Amen to that! You won’t see that one on the back of my car either. Of course, I don’t have any on mine, but still. haha. I also steer clear of people who have obnoxious bumper stickers. And by obnoxious I mean a viewpoint different than mine. lol

  4. LOVE THIS! I think you should write a whole book about it. Then you can make up bumper stickers and tweets to advertise it. 😉

    I hate bumper stickers because they damage the paint on your car. I don’t mind the magnets that act as bumper stickers. Still, I don’t care about your political choices or if your kid is an honor student. I don’t mind funny ones or if you are paying homage to your favorite sports team.

    Twitter – I don’t mind random tweets but I’ll tell you what I really, really, really hate. Overuse of hashtags within a tweet. Put too many #### and my eyes start to bleed. And I don’t really understand what you’re trying to tell me in 140 characters. #What #Are #You #Saying? #Nothing #FF #LOL #FMY #ROFL #YOLO #Annoying #Hashtag #Overload Oh yeah and here’s a link to what I’m really trying to tell you but no one will notice because it’s stuck between #hashtags#.

    I will leave you with a favorite quote of mine that sums up my opinion on both bumper stickers and tattoos:
    In the immortal words of Teresa from the Real Housewives of New Jersey when asked if she would ever get a tattoo. “Would you put a bumper sticker on a Bentley? I don’t think so.”

    1. Amen to the annoying ##hashtag ##overload, Kerri! I hear you! In journalism class, we called it burying the story. I can’t even tell half the time what I’m supposed to be piecing together. So I skim past it. That quote is hysterical! Love it! Of course, my body’s not a Bentley, so I gots me one. 😉

  5. Funny post! And so true! Thanks for the morning laugh! I love reading other people’s bumper stickers, too! 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara! I love reading them, too. Until I get annoyed. Then it’s not so fun anymore. I just like the fun or funny ones. The philosophical and the my-life-style-is-superior-to-your-lifestyle bumper stickers are so annoying. I don’t particularly care if you’re a vegetarian or a bicyclist or if you’re descended from apes. Just give me something funny.

  6. Thanks for my morning chuckle, Kim. I would never put a bumper sticker on my car, but am fascinated by what people will stick on their cars,

    1. I agree, Sandra! I wouldn’t put one on mine either, but they are fascinating. Especially the ones where you pull up next to them, and they aren’t at all what you were expecting. Like cars with stickers about marathons and hiking a certain mountain. Then you pull up next to them, and they’ve got a cigarette hanging out of their window. lol.

  7. This is so adorable, Kim. It’s exactly what I needed this afternoon. I love reading bumper stickers when I’m not driving and we’re on a long road trip. The kids and I have all sorts of road games based on bumper stickers (because I do not have a video console in my ancient van!). 🙂

    1. I don’t have a CD player in my van either, Sharon. We play the alphabet game, and when that gets old, the kids argue, and I play referee. haha.

  8. Kim, you’re too funny! My favorite bumper sticker is the 26.2 on the back of my car. I earned it for the first marathon I ever finished. The finish was not pretty, but it was very funny. Maybe I’ll share this story in San Antonio. Anyway, I’m so proud of that sticker it’ll be on my car until either the adhesive or the vehicle disintegrates… 🙂

    1. Girl! I could never finish a marathon, so my hat’s off to you, McCall! I can barely run for the telephone. Sometimes I give up, and just think if it’s important, they’ll call back. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear this story. Ask Amy about our funny stories from last year. The laundromat and the airport stories…mine and Jay’s. haha.

    1. You know I have a big girl crush on you anyway, Julie, but now it’s full-on LOVE. 🙂 I love that you don’t have bumper stickers. And I like your quote. I have a circular magnet in my kitchen that one of my best friends gave me. It says: “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life.” Love that one! 🙂

  9. Fun post, Kim! I’m with you on the stick-people stickers. Drives me insane. Ironically, I don’t drive anymore. (#dontneedacarinthecity). I did grow up in a semi-rural area and there was a very common bumper sticker which read “Poverty is owning a horse.” This deterred my parents from ever giving in to my pleas for a pony.

    1. Love what you did there with the long hashtag, Vanessa! lol. Awwww. So sorry to hear that the pony was a sign of poverty. haha. And yes, those stick-figure families drive me insane as well.

  10. Yes, both bumper stickers and Twitter appeal to me because they can be short but pithy. I do hate lots of hash tags though. They muddle the tweet so much the meaning is obscured, hence losing the pithiness that attracted me to begin with!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carrie! That’s why I liked Twitter in the beginning as well. They were short and witty, and that made them pretty creative to me. I’m not so sure people are really into the witty stuff anymore. That’s what’s sad. 🙂

    1. Holly,
      I’m not sure who the .5 is? lol. I like that bumper sticker. 🙂 I also like this one: “Be careful or you’ll end up in my book.” Or “I like big books and I cannot lie.”

  11. Too funny Kim!

    I kind of ignore Bumper Stickers. Apparently around here it tends to be for political candidates that I do not support. And yes – they are out of date. And I don’t really care if their child was student of the month in grade school. And why would I need to put a soccer ball on my van – to advertise that I was a soccer mom. Or a ballerina. Or a hockey player or a runner or a lacrosse player, or … keep going with the activities of 5 diverse children.

    I always thought it was fun to figure out the vanity license plates. Since I had a hellacious commute – I would see quite a few. And I would bring them to meetings and see if people could figure them out. I was exercising my mind.

    The sign I’m staring at in my office right now says —

    Wine a bit, you’ll feel better!

    Now why would someone give that to me??

    1. I hear you on the diverse activities of five children. I’d have to have three different school stickers. Piano, art, five soccer balls, Girls on the Run, blah, blah, blah. And then maybe I’d have to have a bunch of writing-related bumper stickers so everyone will know that I, too, have interests. haha.
      I like the wine a bit. haha.
      Now, get back to your edits, you slacker!

  12. I love twitter, but not bumper stickers as much because–how to you get them off? And I agree with your concern about how people reveal too much about their whereabouts on twitter. It makes me nervous as well. I have a Pittsburgh Steelers plate on the front of my car, and that suits me well enough! 🙂

    1. Love the Steelers plate, Piper! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having a great time! 🙂 Tell Denny I said hi.

  13. Kim! I LOVE the way your mind works. Oh my gosh, this was entirely entertaining and also thought-provoking. My favorite bumper sticker is one that says “Be Kind to Dragons for thou art crunchy when toasted and taste good with ketchup.”
    Best blog post sign off ever: And by the way, feel free to follow me on Twitter. 🙂 As I don’t have any bumper stickers on my van, you’ll be bored following me on the road though. Now THAT should be on a bumper sticker!

    1. Carlene,
      I didn’t even realize there was an underground movement regarding dragons. haha. Love that saying though. BTW, I’ve had your snake in the back of my car since retreat. Can I please drop off the karaoke stuff on Saturday? 🙂

      1. Hahahaha, This would be one of those crazy bumper stickers that would drive everyone crazy trying to figure out the meaning… 😉 I’ve had your snake in the back of my car since retreat…


  14. Great post, Kimberly! I needed the laugh! I love driving in Montana because they have SO many vanity plates. I’ve been known to follow someone for a block farther than I needed to go just so I could decode their plate! And the signs outside churches – there’s another source of entertainment. Some are so brief and so excellent they take your breath away; others, well, they’re so bad they’re funny! 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Leslie! Oh, don’t even get me started on the vanity plates. Some of them make me feel like an idiot. I think they just threw random letters together to make it look like it’s supposed to say something because half the time I can’t figure the damn thing out. That’s why the bumper stickers are better for me. haha.

  15. Hahaha! Fabulous ranty post, Kim! Many excellent points raised. Such as farts = funny. Oh yeah. This is an indisputable science. I even discovered the first prototype whoopee cushion was created by a Roman emperor. I have been dying to work that useless knowledge into a comment somewhere. 🙂

    I’m definitely Team Twitter. Bumper stickers often make me batsh**t. Probably because I’m held hostage behind their bumpers until the light turns green. It’s an eye assault.

    One of my favorite hashtags was one that Bria Quinlan wrote in response to one of my tweets. It was #glaresatmeatloaf. We really wanted to see that trend. Guess some dreams will go unfulfilled.

    Thanks for the giggles! 😉

  16. Darcy,
    I love when we have useless knowledge that we absolutely HAVE to show off in some way. lol. I have to say that Twitter scared the bejesus outta me when I first started. I still have to google terms. Like Jacqui #FF me one time, and I had no clue what it meant. Freaky Friend? Freaky Friday? Oh, the wonders of google.
    Hashtags make me nuts sometimes. There has to be social services for hashtag abusers. It’s ridiculous. Maybe a twelve-step program? When you have a gazillion hashtags in one tweet, you’ve lost me. My ADD kicks in, and something shiny four tweets down already has me. I’m lazy. Just give me information. I don’t want to work for it.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  17. I know I’ve seen some fun bumper stickers–I just can’t remember any! I’ll tweet you if any pop into my head later. 🙂

    I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. I love getting into a conversation on Twitter, and love how other people can join in. But I feel like I’m always joining, never starting one. And that can feel like being the sad girl standing in the corner at the prom. So mostly I stay away. I seem to be more successful at starting conversations on my FB page. (My real one more than my TQ one.)

    1. Talia,
      It’s funny because I don’t really like getting involved in conversations on Twitter. I’m a simple girl. I respond, they respond. I’m all good. If I see a bunch of people in a conversation, I keep scrolling through my feed. haha. Well, now I’m tempted to pull you into a Twitter convo…hmmmm….:-)

  18. I refuse to put a bumper sticker on my car. I’m more of a license plate frame girl (I used to have a Doctor Who one, and now my car sports a quote from Firefly). I have seen some funny saying on bumper stickers, though. I usually don’t notice them unless I’m in a parking lot (have I mentioned I’m not that observant?). But Twitter… Oh, how I love Twitter. I get most of my book recs there. I probably don’t tweet enough, but I do enjoy reading the feed every once and a while. Great post, Kim!

    1. Steph,
      You’re cracking me up about not being observant. You should really work on that! Aren’t you a writer??? lol. I lurked on Twitter for a while before I ever tweeted something original. I hit a bunch of tweet buttons or retweets, but I didn’t really start going out on a limb and tweeting. See what I did there? Out on a limb??? Have to go get coffee…
      I agree about the great recommendations for books. I adore the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. I love it!!!

  19. Ha! Great post, Kim. Loved your list of 15 favs. Am embarrassed to admit I had to read #2 several times before it sunk in. And I grew up in a rural community where “drinking and parking” was THE thing to do. We didn’t have a movie theater or a mall. Ah, the good old days.

    1. Jacqui!!! Yay!!! Thanks for stopping by! I’m cracking up that you had to read #2 several times. I guess I like those kinds of sayings rather than the in-your-face pro-life or pro-choice ones. That’s one of my favorites. When I grew up, we all parked somewhere at the end of a date. Well, not all of us together…that would be weird. But, I never got to the point where there could have been an accident while parking. 🙂 I agree…Ah, the good old days…

  20. Kim, what a marvelous post! A friend has one on his car I do like: “Breathe.” I just like the reminder – even now, I’m paying attention to my breath. It’s that yoga thing he got into years ago.

    My bumper stickers are limited to window clings for my college and my children’s colleges. I had a field hockey bumper sticker on my mother’s Corolla – my daughter recognized it in the Bronx after it has been rebuilt from its Saw Mill River Parkway demise and sold again.

    And I don’t like stick figure stickers either. I like the “Nobody cares about your stick figure family.” Amen!

    1. I love the “Nobody cares about your stick figure family.” haha. Thanks for stopping by, Susan!
      I never quite got that “Breathe” reminder. I remember the yoga instructor telling us to breathe, and I always thought, “Is that something we need to remember? What are the consequences if we DON’T?” lol. But I think it’s more of a reminder to take deep, calming breaths. I rarely take those. Mine are more gulps of air to keep me getting through the day. 🙂

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