I read on Twitter the other day that a proposition to keep fans from interacting with their favorite celebrities on social media is being considered. I for one hopes that this NEVER happens; for many keyboard kids, sites like Twitter are the only place where they can interact with their favorite celebrities. Not everyone can afford expensive meet-and-greet passes, you know. On the bright side, even if it does go into effect (again, that should NEVER happen), we’d still be able to follow celebs and the mundane things they do that happen to become 10x as spectacular due to their star power. The ten names on this list are the ones who did it the best for me this year; the wrestlers, musicians, and actors who made social media platforms all the more special just by way of being extremely good at it. Spoilers: Donald Trump is not on the list, because why would he be? Sure, his Twitter has become infamous for being a hotbed of unintentional comedy; that is an oxymoron though because none of it is funny and all of it makes me weep for the future. With that said, let’s get this list started!
#10. Chris Jericho
You know what happens to people who are great at social media? THEY MAKE THE LIST, and Chris Jericho has cracked his third (that’s THREE) Year-End Top 10 for 2016. For the record, Chris Jericho’s best friend Kevin Owens also could have made this list, and I’ll explain why he just missed the cut when we get to the honorable mentions. But as far as the Chris half of Team Chris & Kevin/Team Kevin & Chris, The Best in the World at What He Does is such a hands-on guy when it comes to adapting to the times, so of course him having a presence in the social media landscape is to be expected. It is also to be expected that he’s totally great at it. Usually, promotional material for his podcast Talk Is Jericho, his band Fozzy, or his latest sure-to-be-best-selling book go up on his Twitter account, but they’re thankfully mixed in with some of the funniest retorts to the stupid idiots of the world, RT’s from Jericho-holics worldwide or photos of him hanging with some of wrestling and music’s famous faces.
#9. DJ Khaled
This year includes a couple of Snapchat masters on the list, as I pondered whether or not I should even count it as a social media tool at all. And in lumping the video and photo-sharing app in with the Instagrams and Twitters of the world, it would be borderline criminal for me to leave out this man. The producer is responsible for giving us some of the most hyped posse cuts in hip-hop over the past decade, from “I’m On One” to “We Takin’ Over” to “Welcome to My Hood”. And as evidenced by him having a #1 album in Major Key and additional hits with “Do You Mind” and “For Free”, the world is clearly not bored of Khaled. But would these recent endeavors be nearly as successful if not for the constant plugs and ridiculous catchphrase-spewing on his social media accounts? I don’t mean that as an insult, though, seeing it makes his accounts more amusing to watch than they have any right to be. I’m sure you could think up at least five of his catchphrases off the top of your head without needing to stop for a breath. “They” don’t want you to do it, so you might as well. That’s how Khaled does it.
#8. Leslie Jones
The thing about Twitter trolls is that they can only really affect you if you let them. As mentioned earlier, Chris Jericho – who has dabbled in trolling himself, usually in-person and in-character – has his own hilarious way of shutting twitter trolls down. As celebrities, stuff like this comes with the territory, but at the same time, the trollers should take responsibility for their own despicableness and not wade in their own B.S. so proudly and obnoxiously. And that’s what made the whole Leslie Jones debacle following the release of the controversial gender-swapped Ghostbusters movie so frustrating. After receiving racist insults, she temporarily left the social media site in what wasn’t even the last time a WOC star would suffer this kind of abuse in 2016. Luckily, they can’t keep a funny lady down and the SNL star eventually made her grand return to Twitter, and thank God she did. Going by her Olympics coverage alone, we need to make sure we never lose her from the interwebs again.
#7. Dove Cameron
Last year’s social media top 10 included Disney Channel actress Rowan Blanchard due to her activism, showing wisdom you’d expect to be wise beyond the years of a then-14 year old. This year, a different Disney Channel star cracks the list, and for reasoning that’s slightly different but also kind of the same. Most modern Disney stars seem to have their head right, and hopefully they keep it that way lest we end up with another Miley Cyrus or Lindsay Lohan. One of these bright young stars is Liv & Maddie star Dove Cameron. With her perky smile and light blonde locks, she’s already the vision of a ball of sunshine. Turns out she enjoys spreading those same vibes by way of her Twitter account. Every day, you can expect her to tweet numerous things so positive you’d think she was sponsored by WWE’s The New Day. Probably the only time I recall that not being the case was when she was mourning the passing of Christina Grimmie, in which case, as a former collaborator of the slain YouTube starlet, she was understandably distraught. Outside of that, her tweets (like this one) are sure to put a smile on your face.
#6. Corey Taylor
Corey Taylor wears many hats: lead singer of two best-selling, Grammy-nominated rock bands in Slipknot and Stone Sour, best-selling author, Baron Corbin’s worst nightmare, and dedicated hater of one Donald J. Trump (the first of two very vocal anti-Trump celebs on this list, by the way). A few of those things you’ll be able to get a feel for by just simply checking out his Twitter account. Getting back on his disapproval of Trump for a second, he pulled no punches after it was announced that Trump won the office, letting his feelings of dread abundantly clear. But it wasn’t a sudden revelation; he let those feelings be known on various occasions months ahead of time. But he’s not a wholly negative guy, either; I know, shocking for someone who sings songs as scary-sounding as “Custer” and “Psychosocial”. But he has been positive as well, like when showing love to Ed Sheeran, Chris Jericho, and Steve Austin. And he interacts with fans regularly, too. I would venture to guess his timeline is 90% Twitter mentions or quotes.
#5. Thea Trinidad
If you don’t remember the TNA run of Puerto Rican grappler Rosita, I honestly wouldn’t blame you. She was one of the many promising women who TNA sadly pushed to the side in favor of already-pre-packaged-with-establishment former WWE girls like Gail Kim and Mickie James, leading to the majority of those women, Rosita included, being out of TNA within months. Luckily for us, the five-foot beauty has never really left the public eye. Sure, she has yet to debut in promotions as prominent as SHIMMER and for some reason, WWE – who she’s appeared for numerous times years ago as a Rosebud and even this year in a loss to Asuka on NXT – hasn’t scooped her up like they have her superstar boyfriend, but you can still catch her in SHINE Wrestling, as well as gaining experience in Japan. Somewhere else you can catch her? On your phone or laptop, by way of her Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube accounts, all of which I recommend following. If you were a fan of Melina Perez back in the day, maybe she’ll pop in for a cameo.
#4. Veda Scott
The reigning champion of this list has been dethroned, but she does not take a huge tumble, so she doesn’t have worry about any of her nine lives being in jeopardy. The former Women of Honor wrestler has been a consistent presence on this list, and it’s usually always for the exact same reasons. Her posts about what her cat Teddy is up to? Hilarious. Her tweets discussing whatever she’s doing in whatever town she’s wrestling in that day? Highly amusing, even if I know she’s not the only celebrity who does such a thing. Selfies? Still as on-point as ever. Pretty much the only difference between now and her previous appearances on this year’s list is that she now has a blue verified checkmark next to her name. She’s officially made it into the VIP of Twitter. There’s also the fact that she has no problem showing support for her follow wrestlers, in-particular Cedric Alexander and Ember Moon, both of who she’s expressed nothing but support for by way of emoji’s and GIFs anytime anything even remotely good happened to either of them in WWE this year. I’m still holding out hope we’ll get more Snapchat adventures between her and Ember.
#3. Mauro Ranallo
Like Hannah Montana after an identity crisis, Mauro Ranallo has completed the climb. Yeah, that was a very corny pop culture reference to kick off discussing my #3 social media celebrity of 2016, but it’s something that the former UFC and New Japan Pro Wrestling announcer is no stranger to. He joined the WWE when Smackdown made the change to the USA Network and immediately became a favorite with a subset of wrestling fans, particularly online. Yes, the landscape that’s always on a scavenger hunt for the next Jim Ross or Gorilla Monsoon. His voice not only shows strong on-screen, but off-screen as well, as his Twitter account is a simply fun creation to scroll down. Like myself, he expresses an interest in popular culture, including hip-hop music, which I totally didn’t expect. Hell, his current Twitter icon is a picture of Tupac Shakur. But much like his fellow McMahon-paid co-worker in Chris Jericho, he also usually has the best responses to trolls imaginable, answering questions by simply remarking “Yes” either when someone tries to be a smart allic or just as a way of saying “I plead the fifth!” Mauro was so close to nabbing #1, but ultimately a couple of musicians blocked his way to the top.
#2. Lauren Jauregui
It’s not very easy to avoid Fifth Harmony and their fans on social media, especially over the last two days, but I plan to get to THAT news eventually; hashtag: foreshadowing. Their Harmonizers are all over the Twitter-sphere by the thousands, and many of them having very strong opinions the last number of years on one very polarizing buzzword: Camren. This includes one half of the buzzword itself, as her commentary on it happens to be one of her numerous memorable social media moments this year. And trust me, Miss Jauregui has had numerous memorable social media moments over the past year, and I’m not just talking about her countless gorgeous selfies – which include her with and without makeup – and photos like this that send both male and female fans hearts a-flutter. Like Corey Taylor, she’s very outspoken in how much she despised Donald Trump and his rhetoric, putting him on blast not once, but twice, and those are just the times I’m remembering. She also spoke positively of Jill Stein, which didn’t go over as well unfortunately. She’s also used her platform for even more good, and encouraged fans to join in. And even though this technically doesn’t count as a social media post, this includes her Billboard article where she comes out a bisexual and once again gives Trump and his supporters the business. God, her Twitter and Instagram pages are a blessing.
Jamie Hewlett may have gotten a little ahead of himself when he claimed that 2016 would be “all about Gorillaz”. He let this little quote slip at the top of the year, when it was announced that he and Damon Albarn, Blur frontman and also the singing voice for animated Gorillaz frontman 2D, had made up after their drama and plan to add another phase to the Gorillaz mythology. Sadly, their fifth studio album did not materialize this year as planned. However, Hewlett and Albarn have kept the world of their fictional universe in the public eye by way of social media presence. While Noodle’s racing commercial was certainly fun to watch, if for any reason seeing the singer who previously looked like this in an all grown up context, and it was alarming when their Twitter icon turned into this, it was really their Instagram accounts that we needed to keep our eyes on. Over the course of the latter half of the year, “books” based on the recent individual journeys of the band members post-Plastic Beach we put up on their newly-formed account. The final book points out that Gorillaz are indeed back. In addition, Noodle has been just as active on her own account and Hewlett is always posting new drawings on his Instagram as well, so there’s no denying that we have more reason than ever to be excited about the animated band’s comeback. Now listen to “Feel Good Inc.” on repeat and get ready!
Dwayne Johnson – Dwayne Johnson really seems like the nicest guy in show business; I doubt he ever has to whip any candy asses for trying to step to him in real life. Which is no surprise that he comes off that way on social media as well.
Lady GaGa – Another kind soul of the celebrity world, Lady GaGa is a saint among saints; another star who’s vocally Anti-Trump, the only reason Taylor and Jauregui made the list and GaGa didn’t is because I pay attention to what the other two offer more.
Taeler Hendrix – Taeler Hendrix is always RTing someone on social media. Quote accounts, other wrestlers or organizations. But along with that, she also takes shots at Mandy Leon, posts beautiful selfies, helps with causes, and let’s us know what her dog Slinky is up to.
Kevin Owens – KO almost made the list too. It was when writing this up that I noticed he started using Twitter less frequently and that kind of hurt his ranking. But if you’re a fan of snappy and hilarious trash talk like this, follow him or end up on the List of Jericho.
Demi Lovato – Demi Lovato often lands herself in hot water due to the things that she tweets; so much so that she claimed she was leaving social media twice this year before returning. But she’s stuck around, gifted us one stunning selfie after another, and continues to not hold her tongue on issues close to her heart.
Matt Hardy – I don’t follow the Broken One on Twitter, but that’s out of sheer laziness. Ever since Brother Nero rendered wrecked his functions, his Twitter has become WAY more fun. And did you know his royal undefeated infant son has one, too?
Lauren Alaina – The former American Idol star hasn’t done a Twitter party in quite some time, but she has broken out her Ida Claire alter ego on Snapchat numerous times and has made it no secret that she’s a huge fan of onesie pajamas. What a country cutie.