For those new to Twitter, it can be a bit of a minefield: as my dad put it, “you can just talk to celebrities?” In a nutshell, yes. Sadly, this doesn’t mean they’ll talk back though (honestly Ryan Gosling, get it together please).
You have instant access to everyone you admire, and everyone you don’t, closing the gap between us ordinary people, and those with perfect teeth, perfect hair and perfect lives. However, with this no holds barred access, you may quickly begin to realise that your idol is a bit of an idiot. He’s boring, he’s got awful political views – or even worse, he can’t spell.
So, stop wasting your time following people who’ll have nothing to add to your timeline, minus shameless plugs, and take a look at these geniuses, who will most definitely bring a smile to your day (note: you may notice the sheer volume of cat-related tweets/accounts. Welcome to the internet).
From the funny to the fake, you’ll quickly realise that even though you came to follow the famous-in-the-real-world, the famous-in-Twitter-land are hilarious, insightful, and far more addictive.
1. Stephen Fry @stephenfry
For a combination of cultural delights, witty one-liners, and political and social opinions, Stephen Fry is a necessity on anyone’s Twitter timeline. Always happy to help causes he believes in, retweeting articles, posting pictures, videos and songs, his tweets are always something of substance.
Culture Show on Gladwell’s “David and Goliath” which I’m reading at the moment. Like Outliers and The Tipping Point really fascinating.
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) October 2, 2013
Right. Off to a dinner supporting the Chinese tiger. Will return to watch Finale of Breaking Bad. Shan’t look at twitter for fear of spoiler
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) October 1, 2013
2. Caitlin Moran @caitlinmoran
Feminist, columnist, author, and all-round super person: Caitlin Moran is a must-have on any follow list, purely just for her near-end-of-deadline deliriousness. Switching between serious issues and celebrities/pans/music/Bruce Springsteen at the press of a button, Moran’s timeline is a wonderful mix of acerbic wit, beautiful metaphors, and heartfelt replies to friends and followers.@
I found out that McAvoy lives in my street. I’m sure that’s good information for me to have and no harm can come of it.
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) October 1, 2013
It’s up there with “oh, the baby-weight just FELL off running around after this little fella!” BABIES ARE INFAMOUSLY IMMOBILE DUDE.
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) September 13, 2013
I like it when, in “Man Down”, Rihanna goes “I didn’t mean to hurt him/Could have been someone’s son.” I mean, yes. Almost certainly.
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) September 24, 2013
3. Why My Cat Is Sad @MYSADCAT
Aloof, intelligent and unloving are perhaps the most common adjectives used to describe cats: not so much sad. We weren’t even sure that cats could even look sad – until we saw The Bear. From reasons such as “he was once sacked from a job he loved for ‘looking like a black furry sack of failed hope’” to “I told him his followers shot up over the weekend and now he’s worried you’re all on heroin”, there are plenty of causes for this cat being melancholy.
My cat is sad because he’s yet to see Breaking Bad’s finale & a very mean cat he knows is whispering spoilers to him. pic.twitter.com/6fTXYI8VEV
— WHY MY CAT IS SAD (@MYSADCAT) October 1, 2013
My cat is sad because he went to play with this mouse but got distracted by worries about the gross national debt. pic.twitter.com/QrFwZIQUDB
— WHY MY CAT IS SAD (@MYSADCAT) September 30, 2013
4. Harry, My Cat Died @HarryMyCatDied
One of the most dangerous territories on Twitter is One Direction. Not a day goes past without a band member, song title, or girlfriend trending, and if you mistakenly jump on a hashtag in a less than complimentary way, you’ll find yourself inundated by death threats from teenaged girls. One brave soul who entered this world stumbled across a bizarre phenomenon: fans tweeting Harry Styles after the death of their cat/dog/hamster/family member.
1) She named her fish Hazza. 2) She informed every member of 1D that it died. 3) Her avatar is a photo of the dead fish.
— Harry, My Cat Died (@HarryMyCatDied) September 19, 2013
— R.I.P HAZZA;16/09/13 (@1D_Selinn) September 17, 2013
5. Very Short Story @VeryShortStory
Time’s precious in this day and age, so get your literary fix from Very Short Story. An entire story is told in under 140 characters, as well as characters, a history, and a sense of loss. Their brevity only adds to the brilliance: not many 200-page books can achieve the mix of feelings these short stories evoke. Other authors, such as P.S I Love You creator, Cecelia Ahern has joined in, and tweets her own short stories.
”The view is beautiful.“ thought Steve, seeing the trees and hills. ”I never noticed.“ Long deep breath. He climbed in from the ledge.
— Very Short Story (@VeryShortStory) August 28, 2013
Firetruck! yelled 5 year old Billy. His Mom had told him his Dad was a fireman. When he got older he set fires, hoping to meet Dad.
— Very Short Story (@VeryShortStory) August 24, 2013
6. VeryBritishProblems @SoVeryBritish
Living in a country full of rigid etiquette rules, a penchant for the weather, and an inability to speak bluntly, has resulted in the worryingly precise VeryBritishProblems. Half of them you won’t realise you do, and the other half will make you ever so slightly relieved that you’re not the only one who does it.
Changing from ‘kind regards’ to just ‘regards’, to indicate that you’re rapidly reaching the end of your tether
— VeryBritishProblems (@SoVeryBritish) October 1, 2013
Going without water or toilet breaks for the first month of a new job, rather than bother anyone for directions
— VeryBritishProblems (@SoVeryBritish) September 26, 2013
Dealing with a noisy train passenger by staring furiously out the window
— VeryBritishProblems (@SoVeryBritish) July 26, 2013
7. EverydaySexism @EverydaySexism
Created by Laura Bates, the Everyday Sexism project has exploded over social media, encouraging people to #ShoutBack against sexism. Stories range from street harassment, to harassment on public transport, encouraging rape culture, and online abuse. A recent campaign against disgusting shirts being sold on eBay (reading ‘Sometimes no means yes’ and ‘Feeling rapey’), resulted in eBay removing the products. Get involved with this life-changing project, and start standing up and shouting back.
— EverydaySexism (@EverydaySexism) September 30, 2013
— EverydaySexism (@EverydaySexism) October 1, 2013
— EverydaySexism (@EverydaySexism) September 29, 2013
8. Kelly Oxford @kellyoxford
This Canadian author and screenwriter tweets everything from insights from her (perhaps accidentally) hilarious family, to her own equally witty quips. Not afraid to share her opinions with anyone, ranging from Kanye West to Julia Robert’s teeth, her dry, slightly sarcastic sense of humour is well worth having on any timeline.
Hey straight men ranting about gay men: We all get it, you’re thinking about gay men a lot.
— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) September 6, 2013
Husband: “Why is that guy on a moped smiling? What does he have to be happy about, he’s on a moped.” 5 yr old: “Maybe it’s his first time.”
— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) September 10, 2013
9. WaterstonesOxfordSt @WstonesOxfordSt
“A bookshop!” We hear you cry, “A bookshop can’t be funny!” …and that is exactly where you’re wrong. The Oxford Street branch of Waterstone’s has a genius team working their Twitter account, making it funnier than about 80% of the registered comedians online. From short stories to in-jokes, you’ll discover a whole new side of bookselling.
BOOK FACT: The pen is mightier than the sword (except in a fight).
— WaterstonesOxfordSt (@WstonesOxfordSt) October 2, 2013
(Waterstones is not responsible if you take a pen to a sword fight.)
— WaterstonesOxfordSt (@WstonesOxfordSt) October 2, 2013
It is 9am. The store is OPEN. Last night’s nightmares, half remembered, leave a metallic taste in your mind. We. We will sooth you awake.
— WaterstonesOxfordSt (@WstonesOxfordSt) September 26, 2013
10. Alain de Botton @alaindebotton
Writer and philosopher Alain de Botton may not be as dramatic or amusing as others on this list, but his profound perceptions on daily life, the meaning of everything, and things you didn’t even realise other people did, are fascinating. Strive to be as complex and deep-thinking as him, and you may end up changing your entire outlook on life.
Most of what makes a book ‘good’ is that we’re reading it at the right moment for us.
— Alain de Botton (@alaindebotton) September 16, 2013
Feeling you’re basically leading the right life strangely compatible with being grumpy most of the time.
— Alain de Botton (@alaindebotton) July 9, 2013
11. Jon Snow @jonsnowC4
Legendary Channel 4 news broadcaster, Jon Snow, is as fantastic on Twitter as he is on the television. An informative and though provoking tweeter, Snow is a great place to start getting involved with social and global issues. Plus, he does a brilliant cover of Parklife.
How desperate does the Daily Mail have to be to attack the dead father of the Leader of the Opposition?
— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) October 1, 2013
Standing outside UK co-hosted drinks in NY ahead of highly controversial SriLanka(‘KillingFields’) Commonwealth Summit.no one wants to talk!
— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) September 24, 2013
12. Elizabeth Windsor @Queen_UK
So she probably isn’t the real Liz, but we all wish she was. Tweeting royal and political opinions on everything in the news, the majority of her followers would greatly prefer her to be running the country. Hilarious, dry and undoubtedly a national treasure, Her Royal Highness provides a wonderful, if (hopefully not) unrealistic look behind palace doors.
No, President Obama, we cannot “forget the whole independence thing”, you idiot. One doesn’t care what issues you’re having with the Senate.
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) September 30, 2013
Actually, whilst the firefighters are on strike, does anyone have Guy Fawkes’ phone number? Asking for a friend. #twobirdsonestone
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) September 25, 2013
David Cameron is suffering from a bad back. There is no truth in the rumours that this is related to Nick Clegg’s love of piggybacks.
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) August 19, 2013