Social networking isn’t going away any time soon, and while the trends and tastes of users may change, the power of the medium remains at an all-time high. Granted, MySpace swapped places with Facebook in the popularity ranks and a slew of other like-minded portals have popped up in the process, but amidst all the Internet clutter, Twitter continues to stand out from the pack.
While some celebrities Tweet what they ate for lunch, where they bought a particular outfit, or worse, perpetuate gossip, there’s also plenty on Twitter in the way of uplifting messages. Though it may be confusing in the vast world of cyberspace, here are a few familiar faces and meaningful groups you should consider following, complete with high school yearboook-style designations to help you spot where your interests lie.
1) Tyler Perry (“Best Artistic Balancing Act”)
As an actor, producer, director and general pop culture pioneer, Tyler Perry has plenty to say and nearly half a million followers waiting with baited breath for whatever will come next. Sometimes he’ll plug the latest production or recommend a wholesomely hysterical movie, TV show or stage play, interjecting that signature sense of humor that effortlessly churns out lines like: “If your child’s mother or father (meaning your ex that you have a kid with) is interfering with your new relationship, I’m telling you, don’t miss ‘House of Payne’ tonight. It’s amazing!”
2) Rev Run (“Best Rap Wisdom Ever”)
Besides leaving an indelible mark on the rap world as a member of Run-D.M.C., Rev Run is making a mark on fans from all walks of life (more than two and a half million to be exact). His lines might not always rhyme on Twitter, but they definitely make a ton of sense to both believers and non-believers alike. “Work like everything depends on your work, and pray like everything depends on your prayers,” is one nugget he so aptly suggests.
3) Paula Deen (“Most Likely to Never Go Hungry”)
She says “cooking and family are the greatest gifts” and half a million followers agree. Sure, Paula Deen’s known for her way around the kitchen as one of the world’s most famous celebrity chefs, but she’s always sure to pepper in values-based morsels as she’s rattling off ingredients. While her Tweets are loaded with top recipes, she also suggests ways to celebrate the holidays and other important tidbits, including cost-effective ways to distribute food to the needy on the 9/11 National Day of Service.
4) Lance Armstrong (“Most Motivational Athlete”)
Professional cyclist Lance Armstrong is one of the world’s most famous athletes, not just for winning the Tour de France seven times in a row, but for doing so after surviving cancer. He’s quick to offer up race results and information on his touring excursions to more than three million followers, but every so often he’ll encourage a person affected by the disease, insisting they keep fighting and striving to survive.
5) Advantage Models & Talent (“Most Congenial”)
Though the modeling world by nature often puts looks as its primary priority, Advantage Models & Talent seeks to complete that message by stressing equally the importance of inner beauty. Founder Nise’ Davies just started Tweeting success stories, and as the cross in the company’s logo indicates, she’s all about putting her priorities in place as she pairs models with projects as diverse as a Kellie Pickler music video to a slew of faith-based films.
6) Hillsong Church (“Best for Praise and Proverbs”)
With nearly 150,000 followers, Sydney’s Hillsong Church is amongst the most frequently browsed of its kind and ultimate source for praise leaders and worshippers alike to glean inspiration. Just take a look at a quick but oh so true comment by Pastor Brian Houston, who insists “worry changes nothing around you, but creates chaos within you!”
7) Dr. Sanjay Gupta (“Most Likely to Live Longest”)
Anyone who’s flipped channels for even a few seconds has surely come across Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN, either giving out health tips or commenting on a variety of cases where medical expertise is required. While he can’t use Twitter to teach anyone brain surgery, well over a million followers click regularly on his article links and expert advice on the always important topic of taking care of ourselves.
8) Dolly Parton (“Most Likely to Never Age”)
Country-turned-pop singer Dolly Parton is just about as cheerful as humanly possible and you can catch all her classic one-liners (plus all the usual artist stuff) alongside a million and a quarter of her other followers. Sometimes she sets out purely to entertain, and others to inspire, but no matter what the mood, she’s sure to put a smile on your face. “After momma gave birth to 12 of us kids, we put her up on a pedestal,” she Tweets. “It was mostly to keep Daddy away from her.”
9) Ellen DeGeneres (“Most Likely to Be the New Oprah”)
Now that Oprah Winfrey is out of the daytime talk show race, Ellen DeGeneres could quite possibly take her place thanks to a well-rounded program line-up split between celebrities and regular folks sharing fun stories. There’s never an agenda or anything more than a curious host cracking jokes, telling relatable tales and getting her seven million followers to giggle with commands like: “It doesn’t matter who wins or loses. What’s important to remember is no matter what happens, my new season premiere is on Monday.”
10) Joel Osteen (“Best Smile”)
He’s got the whitest teeth around, but there’s a reason why pastor/speaker/author Joel Osteen is always smiling and it isn’t just to show off the results of the perfect toothpaste. More than 300,000 followers agree that he’s always there to offer a quick pick me up or profound scripture sure to meet readers wherever they are. Who wouldn’t smirk to themselves after scanning a quick Proverb like “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing…”
Bonus. Daily Bible Promise (“Best Advice You’ll Ever Get”)
Speaking of the scripture, there’s even a chance to follow an organization dedicated to nothing but the Word. More than 85,000 are already in the club that get a quick pick-me-up from timeless treasures such as this promise from Deuteronomy. “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid for the Lord goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
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