#30DaysofGOOD Challenge: 8. Have a Conversation with a Twitter Friend that Is Longer than 140 Characters

Each month, we challenge our community to do something that will improve the world around us—and our own lives. September's challenge? To connect.

Welcome to The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD). Each month, we challenge our community members to do something that will improve the world around us—and our own lives. The challenge for September? To connect with other people. In an effort to help us all rise to the occasion, we're going to assign one small task every day. Each morning, we will post the challenge on and Twitter, along with a testimonial from someone on the GOOD team who's already completed it. We invite you to complete all 30 mini-challenges with us! Today, we challenge you to:

Have a conversation with a Twitter friend that is longer than 140 characters.

Save for socks, there's nothing I simultaneously use and hate more than Twitter. While I follow my Twitter timeline religiously whenever I'm at my computer, I generally do so with a disdain for myself and a great many of my fellow tweeters. Sure, Twitter can be used to acquire and disseminate valuable information at a breakneck pace, which is why I use it. But more often than not it's cluttered with lame blogger feuds, poor advice, masturbatory wonkery, or simply far too many pictures of people's vacations.

I've come to appreciate on a very deep level the individuals who are able to cut through Twitter's inherent nonsense and make it fun again. Rather than tell them that, however, like everyone else I've been trained to register my appreciation on Twitter via retweets, those digital winks that say, "Hey, I'm watching you!" It's yet another way we've learned to connect without really connecting.

Today I emailed Joe Warminsky, a writer for Washington City Paper, and told him that I like following him on Twitter. Like retweeting someone, it wasn't difficult. Unlike retweeting someone, it was an endorsement.

Joe hasn't emailed me back yet, and he may never. That would be fine with me. I'm content just with him knowing that, though I may not retweet it, I enjoy his work from afar, somewhere beneath silent noise of a Twitter feed that just won't stop.


- Cord Jefferson


Ready, set, go! Good luck completing today's challenge. Share your experience on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook by using the hashtag #30DaysofGOOD, or let us know how it went in the comments section below.

Tomorrow's challenge: Video chat with a faraway friend.