It isn’t difficult to get addicted to Twitter. After all, it hardly takes an effort to type in 140 characters. In those itsy-bitsy lines lies a great power, to either change the world with a tweet, or change your own world with a bit of Twitter-aided personal development. There are the obvious uses of Twitter we keep harping on, but isn’t it always the uncommon and unnoticed uses of social media that piques our interest?
The list of creative uses of Twitter is a mile-long. With half a billion users, you would expect a percentage of the tweeples to find fun things to do here. You can make your plants talk to you on Twitter or follow Lady Gaga, so there’s no excuse for getting bored. If you still can’t find them, this post will explore some more ways to have fun on Twitter, because reading James Joyce’s Ulysses on Twitter 140 characters at a time isn’t what I signed up for!
Indulge Your Appetite
Fluffy Scones: Mix2c flr/½t salt/1½T bkgpdr. Cut+8T buttr. Fold+c lgtcrm. Form crumbly disk; cut8wedges. Top+sug. Brwn17m@400F. HT @ironix !
— Maureen Evans (@cookbook) July 11, 2013
Yes, that’s a 140 character recipe. Twitter is a great medium for sharing quick recipes and there are many world-famous chefs sharing their lives inside the kitchens. Why famous, even food bloggers and homely culinary artist are giving Twitter a go with their creatively compressed trade secrets, like Maureen Evans, who is behind the streams on Cookbook. Also, check out Mixologist and TinyRecipes (not updated in a while, but still a good collection). Twitter micro-recipes even have their own cooking vocabulary. When you are all full and fat, go to This Is Why You Are Fat and learn what else you can gorge on that’s ridiculously unhealthy.
Follow Your Favorite Superheroes (or their alter-egos)
There was a time when you would rush to your neighborhood comic book store and pick up the latest issue to know what’s happening in Gotham or Metropolis. No more, because superheroes too have taken to Twitter; or let’s say their alter-egos have. There are Twitter parody accounts and even Bruce Wayne’s billions or Clark Kent’s super-vision can’t keep them away. Clark Kent / Superman is a chivalrous superhero. What if he wasn’t?
The best thing about being me is that it’s not my job to clean up Metropolis after one of my epic city-destroying fight sequences. — Superman /Clark Kent (@JerkSuperman) June 21, 2013
@JerkSuperman shows you the boorish side. He doesn’t shy away from throwing punches. Equal on the popularity stakes in the DC Comics universe, @TheBatman beats Superman hollow when it comes to Twitter followers. There are others parodied superheroes out there. Tell us your favorite ones in the comments.
Bring Your Favorite Historical Character to Life
You can answer the questions – What if Mark Twain had a Twitter account? Or Honest Abe? There are quite a few Twitter projects that are retelling history 140 characters at a time. I came across Alwyn Collinson while researching for amazing ways for teachers & tutors to use Twitter in education. Check out his Twitter handle for a re-look at WWII history via tweets.
Newly recruited Red Army soldiers training with fake wooden guns, without uniforms, wearing portyanki- wrapped footcloths- for want of boots — WW2 Tweets from 1941 (@RealTimeWWII) July 22, 2013
If you want to know how to have fun with historical characters with the benefit of some hindsight, browse to Historical Tweets. These guys even had a book about it. The site isn’t being updated anymore, but it’s fun to browse for clues to historical “personalities” on Twitter.
Take Part in Twitter Scavenger Hunts
Twitter is uniquely positioned for online scavenger hunts. Scavenger hunts are usually promotional in nature for viral marketing, but they are simple to participate in. Usually, scavenger hunts are announced on Twitter with a specific #hashtag followed by clues in subsequent tweets. Participants use the clues to find real world (or even online) objects or any tasks specified for the hunt. In the end, you can prove your participation by clicking a photo (or a video). Also, keep an eye on scavenger hunts that are hosted on Facebook but promoted via Twitter and other social media. The tools for finding scavenger hunts to play and solve are the same – search engines. Searching on Twitter with #scavengerhunt is sure to net you some of the current ones that are on.
So, You Think You Can Speak English?
If you are a logophile, there are many ways you can use Twitter to improve your vocabulary. Wordnik is one of the more fun ways because it covers the meanings of words by wrapping them in sentences. Though there is a fully-fledged website behind Wordnik, the Twitter handle is the stream you would like to swim with. The idea behind the Twitter account is to give out a word-of-the-day and challenge the followers to explain the meaning in a clever sentence. The winners get it word perfect and you can enjoy the favorite entries on the Wordnik blog.
Find Your Rhythm in an Iambic Pentameter
Word lovers can continue on and reach Pentametron. The website showcases a collection of verses written in iambic pentameter. If it’s all Greek so far, don’t worry…you are probably not a fan yet. Though, you might have already composed a few ditties with its principle of syllabic arrangement. Haikus, micro-poems, flash fiction, and even literature are already on Twitter so why should this style of poetry get left behind? Just send in your tweet and make it rhyme with the last one to continue the chain. It’s fun.
ASCII Art with Twitter
You will have to follow in Mathew Haggett’s footsteps because he seems to be the one with the most followers when it comes to ASCII art on Twitter. His Twitter stream (@tw1tt3rart) is an online “gallery” of what you can do with 140 characters. All you would need is the character palette on your computer and dollops of creativity. If you seek more inspiration, land on the ASCII Artist website and see a well-compiled list of Twitter art links and Twitter text artists.
You might have played the usual games on Twitter, shared images, listened to songs and videos, stalked a celebrity or two, and maybe even impersonated someone else as a prank. But these seven ideas should suggest that you can still do a lot more. Maybe, I have exhausted the options, maybe I haven’t. It’s now your job to tell me what other cool things you can do on Twitter which are completely offbeat and essentially fun. Oh yes! We don’t have any 140 character limits for our comments, so bring out the best of your ideas.
Image Credit: Happy Group of Finger Smileys via Shutterstock