10 Things I Learned on Twitter in 2010

I’d say, for me, this has been the year of the Twitter.  I discovered it when I started blogging and thought it would be great to help my writing.  Which it has, in wonderful ways that I would have never thought.  However, I’ve also learned a few interesting commonalities about people from some of the amazing folks I follow.

1.)  No one likes to wear pants.

It’s true!  There’s tags like #nopants and #pantsoff to prove it.  Apparently the restriction is just too much for people to take at the end of the day.  Quite frankly, I’m glad to see it’s nothing to be ashamed of. 

2.)  EVERYONE likes bacon.

I’m sure there’s plenty of foods that are big favorites, but the love of bacon has got to be the purest.  And I am certainly included in that group.  Greasy and limp, or burnt to a crisp, it doesn’t matter…it’s all heaven.

3.)  You never need to feel alone when there’s a hashtag for everything.

There are loads of popular hashtags on Twitter.  Friday nights you can join #wineparty.  All day Friday you can post what you’re reading with a #FridayReads tag.  If you’re writing any time of day, use #amwriting.  If you have great advice for writers, post it with #writingtips.  When I post my blog from All About Momsense, I use #mommyblogger.  If there’s a need, a hashtag will fill it.

4.)  Celebrities are normal people.  Mostly.

I have chatted with Scott Grimes (ER, Band of Brothers) and Kellie Martin (Life Goes On, ER, Christy) and they are two of lots of fantastic people that answer back and tweet about every day life.  They help you remember that they are just like us and want to enjoy life with their families and friends and get through the day.  Whether talking about amazing homemade recipes or being plain silly, they really are just like you and me.

5.)  All ridiculous occurrences should be shared with photos.

Did you just see a complete stranger with the worst hair ever?  Tweet it.  Have you found a store that has a completely innocent sign that reads like a dirty joke.  You need to share that.   New shoes?  Going out and need someone to check your outfit?  Share it, get the feedback, feel redeemed. 

6.)  Everyone’s children are out of hand.

Kids pooping in hallways, screaming about candy, feeding the household pets table food…it’s all there.  It’s not a result of bad parenting.  It’s a result of life.  When everyone says your kids are angels, so well behaved, Twitter knows the truth.  They are bad, and they are wonderful.  We know every hair pulling, heartstring tugging moment.  Good and bad, it’s all there in 140 characters.

7.)  News travels fastest on Twitter.

If someone dies, thousands of people are informed in seconds.  If a child is missing, everyone soon has a copy of a face to look for.  If someone is missing, Twitter is looking for them.  It only takes a few moments for information to spread.  The domino effect of tweet after tweet being passed should be record breaking. 

8.)  Outdated sayings are welcome…even encouraged.  Or create your own!

I haven’t used “word” as an affirmation since I was in middle school.  Suddenly, it’s everywhere.  Things like “awesomesauce” and “for realz” are probably my personal favorites.  Acronyms are a requirement, as well, with only 140 per tweet.  OMG, BTW, IDK, IKR, IRL…the list is endless. 

9.)  Even professionals can be goofy. 

Sure, some people are here for the social media marketing benefits.  Having Facebook, Twitter and blogs all contribute to spreading your name around and gathering an audience.  But sometimes, it helps to share a bit of your personal side to show you aren’t a robot.  An offhand comment can be like loosening your tie at the office party.  Relax, enjoy. 

10.)  Twitter cares.

There is an incredible support system within the Twitter-folk.  If someone is sad, others will encourage him.  If someone needs help, we look for suggestions.  We talk, we listen, we make each other laugh.  We send each other food and drinks.  There is a heartfelt connection that we create with each other. 

It may seem immature to some, but Twitter has built an increasing web of friends, colleagues and confidants that I never thought I would have.  I’ve become close with people hundreds of miles away.  And for as much as I try to learn about each and every one of them, I hope they know that their friendship is something I truly treasure.

The Need for a #DailyGiggle

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that every day I post a #DailyGiggle.  Most days it is either a silly photo or video from various sites.  The only requirement I have for choosing one is that it has to make me laugh out loud.  Whether hysterical laughter, or just a little chuckle, it has to initiate a reaction from me.  And for videos, I try to keep it under five minutes in the interest of people at work who might be checking it out.  I pick a new item every day and usually put in some time searching.  If I’m lucky, something that I recall that has made me laugh in the past pops into my head and I just go find it.

Who is reading these tweets?  Let’s do the math.  I have less than 300 followers  and I’m pretty sure that about 100 of them are bots, businesses or people that don’t even read my tweets.  Still, that leaves about 100 or so that might read them.  Even if only half of those people see the #DailyGiggle, that could be 50 people that I have made laugh.  To me, that is an extremely successful day. 

Why do I post these tweets?  I’ve come to find that if you make it a point to get some laughter each day, you can make a difference in the way stress affects you.  Being happy doesn’t just come naturally.  You have to help it, nurture it and encourage it to be able to keep it.  It may seem like hard work, but you’ll find that when it comes to making yourself happy, it doesn’t feel like work. 

Still not convinced?  Let me list a few of the health benefits of laughter for you:

  • Relieves physical tension
  • Decreases stress hormones
  • Increases immune cells & infection fighting antibodies
  • Improves blood vessel function & increases blood flow
  • Decreases pain
  • Eases anxiety
  • Increases energy

The list goes on and on.  A good laugh may give you temporary benefit, but when you are laughing regularly you could see some real long term advantages.  The improved blood vessel function and better blood flow can protect you from heart attack.  Relieving anxiety can help you avoid stress related illnesses such as anxiety attacks and stomach ulcers.  Taking care of your body can be difficult for people on the go.  We don’t always eat right and exercise.  However, it’s still important to do what you can to keep your health in check.  Better health means less trips to the doctor.  That means less doctor bills to pay and one less stress to worry about. 

I’ve been on quite a journey in this past year and the most important lesson I’m learning is that happiness is easy to come by when you are looking for it.  And with this lesson, I hope the spread around the joy a little.  I feel like if I can be this happy, more people should feel this way, too.  So, if you’re on Twitter, look for me and my #DailyGiggle hashtag.  For those of you that follow me already, I hope you enjoy the giggles.  And for those of you that retweet them, thanks for spreading around a few laughs!

Whether you are or aren’t on Twitter, please, do what you can to get some laughs every single  day.  The more you laugh, the more you’ll see what a difference it can make. 😀