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Social Apps: Smile. Laugh. Be Cool.

TwitterHere’s what twitter, facebook, and phone makers promote about their products: Connect with people! Discover your interests! Get so much more done every day!

Here’s what you really want to do on your laptop or phone, when you’ve got a few moments to enjoy them: laugh at jokes, shoot pictures of interesting objects and people, and find neat things to do.

With that in mind, please consider the following Twitter feeds, Facebook tools and mobile apps, not as “upgrades” or “supercharged” anything. They are fun, funny and sometimes functional but mainly meant to make being online like going to a party with a great guest list.

Kevin Purdy is a freelance writer and author of The Complete Android Guide and Google+: The Missing Manual.


10 Most Consistently Entertaining People to Follow on Twitter

Alan Sepinwall (@Sepinwall)
If you watch TV, you should follow Sepinwall. His reviews for HitFix.com are insightful and revealing without being pretentious, and his wit is all-encompassing.

Ken Jennings (@KenJennings)
Quirky and brilliant, Jennings won $2,520,700 on 74 straight Jeopardy! victories. On Twitter, he’s anything but straight-laced, even a little crude sometimes, but remarkably funny.

Agent Smith (@TSAGov)
It’s what you think the airport security folks are thinking. Sample: “Whenever Congress meets about the #TSA, we like to remind them that we have their naked scanner pics on file.”

NPR Music (@NPRMusic)
Whatever your take on NPR’s news operations, the music side of National Public Radio has diverse picks, interesting stories and a surprisingly huge array of free new albums to listen to.

Drunk Hulk (@DrunkHulk)
A literary-minded writer pretends to be the green superhero after a few too many. The all-caps jokes, song references and other amusements will get you into the spirit of this.

Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote)
See what Ray Bradbury wrote to a library that banned his books, or Raymond Chandler’s rant about crude science fiction and other remarkable pages.

Fake AP Stylebook (@FakeAPStylebook)
It’s the teeming, slightly deranged conscience of the modern news industry. “Our commitment is to the truth. It’s time we just told readers there is no best beach body for them. That time is over.”

Debra Jones-O’Brien (@PeanutFreeMom)
What if you took every TIME magazine cover story about parenting and compressed them into one robo-mom? That’s kind of the deal here.

Instant Netflix (@InstantNetflix)
There’s so much stuff available on Netflix, it’s hard to know where to start. This account simply points out new additions, interesting archives, and helps you get started with your downtime.

Mindy Kaling (@MindyKaling)
She’s Kelly Kapoor on The Office, and, in real life, she’s just as quirky, random and funny but much smarter and knowing.


FacebookThe Facebook Pages and Apps Actually Worth “Like”-ing

Someecards (apps.facebook.com/someecards)
They’re the funniest ecards on the web: always snarky, often suitable and sometimes (gleefully) inappropriate. Send them directly to your friends and avoid being just another birthday post on their wall.

TripAdvisor’s Cities I’ve Visted (apps.facebook.com/citiesivevisited)
What’s it worth going to Spain, Taiwan or Portland if you can’t show off photos, recommend restaurants and record your favorite things? Share your knowledge, pics and recommendations here.

Skype (apps.facebook.com/videocalling)
Want to set up a video call to check in on kids, connect with old friends or see the new kitchen? Don’t bother setting up Skype, signing in and all that: Just connect on Facebook with a laptop and go face to face.

Flixter (apps.facebook.com/flixster)
A one-stop shop for movies: What’s out, what time it’s playing, how it’s rated on rottentomatoes.com and what your friends think of it. Plus, sneak a peek at the trailer.


iPadMOBILE Apps that Make Social Smart & Easy

(All apps are free and for both iPhone/iPad and Android devices.) 

Path (path.com/download)
You can keep a personal journal of photos, locations and thoughts, or you can share one thing out to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, all at once.

Skitch (skitch.com)
(Android and iPad only)
Illustrate, crop and doodle on the photos you’re shooting with this remarkably easy-to-use app.

Pocket (getpocket.com)
You find intriguing web pages, videos and great recipes all the time, but don’t always have time. With this app, you can save them all and pull them up at any time.

Flipboard (flipboard.com)

Read through the links, pictures and videos your Twitter and Facebook connections are posting, page by page, laid out like an elegant magazine.

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