There's a regular phrase seen on Twitter - that it's not real life.
In other words, the attitudes commonly expressed in the aviary don't have much in common with the views of people getting by in the everyday world.
It's a place where news junkies, activists and people with particular interests and ideas gather. A lot of people let fly with tweets that sound more suited to private vents with trusted friends.
But lately, the online world has been butting up against the everyday one in high-profile ways.
And it's clear that what's past is still present when there's a long record of it on social media.
In the United States, two of President Joe Biden's cabinet nominees have been attacked for mean-tweeting, back before they got tapped for jobs in the administration.
This may come as a surprise to anyone on the planet who lived through the past four years where tweeted insults were commonplace. Donald Trump, the former Tweeter-in-Chief, was infamous for flinging them at Democrats and Republicans alike.
For nominee Neera Tanden, her collection of skewering one-liners, burns and hot takes is likely to torpedo her chances as head of the Office of Management and Budget.
Tanden was a prominent Democratic smartphone warrior during the Trump years as president of the Centre for American Progress and managed to upset people on both the right and progressive left. She deleted more than 1000 old tweets in November.
She had reportedly said vampires have more heart than Republican senator Ted Cruz, and likened former Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to Voldemort.
Republicans have latched on to Biden's stated aim of restoring civility, normality and bipartisanship in using such comments against her.
Senator Susan Collins said Tanden's "past actions [are] the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend".
A spokesperson for Mitt Romney said the senator "believes it's hard to return to comity and respect with a nominee who has issued a thousand mean tweets".
What is particularly damaging to Tanden's chances, given the one-vote Democratic majority in the Senate, is the party's most conservative senator Joe Manchin is opposed to her.
Deb Haaland, who would be a history-making first Native American Secretary of the Interior, got pulled up at a confirmation hearing for tweeting "Republicans don't believe in science" last October.
In her case, Republicans appear to be laying out their opposition to some of Biden's policies and used the hearing to bluntly question Haaland about her progressive views on climate change and fossil fuels.
Here, National MP Simon Bridges got a ticking off from leader Judith Collins after calling Police Commissioner Andy Coster a "wokester" on Twitter last week.
"I've made it very clear that our focus is on those who actually set the rules and the agenda and that is the minister," she said.
The general lesson is that keyboard combatants leave themselves open to having their words weaponised against them a long time after they've dashed off that one-line tweet.
Reputations and careers can be ruined in an instant.
Although, as Cruz has just found out with his disastrous attempted getaway to Cancun from Texas in the middle of his state's deep freeze, there's still plenty of traditional ways to stuff up.