Twitter has its positives - a brilliant communication and news tool - and its negatives - awful trolls, feeling like you're wasting your life reading about nothing - but one of the most interesting aspects of it is how we've been able to see a hidden side of certain individuals.
Who could have predicted James Blunt would be a comedy genius? Or that Joey Barton would quote Nietzsche?
And another great example is that of Gary Lineker. Of course we knew he was a great sportsman, and a broadcaster who had grown from a nervy start to being a calming presence on that Match of the Day sofa - a safe pair of hands, who would rarely say anything controversial.
But, when he joined Twitter, we certainly weren't expecting him to be so forthright and, well, just right with his views on a number of other issues, particularly away from sporting chat and regarding more serious matters.
He’s known for his recent plea for humanity in the face of the ongoing refugee crisis which, with depressing inevitability, led to a storm of abuse via Twitter, and a front-page slagging from that bastion of moral virtue, the Daily Star.
We fail to see how anyone could take offence from this tweet, which sparked the 'row':
The treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless. What's happening to our country?— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 18, 2016
And, quite rightly, he defended himself against those who attacked him.
And now the Daily Mail are on his case for supposedly not paying his taxes – they dedicated a whole two pages to calling him out. Such a great use of time, clearly. Anyway, Gary isn’t having it:
I have always paid my taxes on time and in full. The Daily Mail continues its vendetta against me because they don't agree with my views.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 9, 2017
I will continue to speak up for refugees and immigrants and British values of tolerance and free speech. I won't be bullied by them.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 9, 2017
So what about the other times when Gary has been resolutely unashamed to stick his neck out for what he believes in? Well, step this way...
Speaking previously about the refugee crisis
The images of the poor refugees are sickening. As is the 'I'm alright Jack, they'll ruin things for us if we let them in' attitude of some.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 4, 2015
His verdict on the EU referendum
Feel ashamed of my generation. We've let down our children and their children.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 24, 2016
UK politics and the 2015 General Election
I'll keep who I vote for to myself, but I doubt I'll be influenced by the manner in which someone eats a bloody sandwich.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 6, 2015
The controversial closure of Fabric
Lineker has been a long-standing and outspoken critic of FIFA and, particularly Sepp Blatter. He must have been very pleased with the events of the last couple of years...
There can't be a more corrupt, deplorable organisation on earth than FIFA. The house of cards is falling. Time for change!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 27, 2015
The only way this revolting organisation will change is if the major football federations walk out. It's time to grow a pair of footballs.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 29, 2015
I'm shocked that the Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Sepp Blatter. Shocked that it's taken so long.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 25, 2015
These two likeable fellows
A superb speech by Michelle Obama. Showed up the weaknesses of Trump without a single insult. A lesson to all.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 26, 2016
Gun control in the US
The behaviour of the UK press (part 1)
When a couple go through something as traumatic as divorce, I wonder why elements of our press feel the need to be so bloody horrible?— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 5, 2015
The behaviour of the UK press (part 2)
The behaviour of the UK press (part 3)
Calling out the unacceptable behaviour of football fans
Just saw the video of the Chelsea mob's deplorable behaviour and racist chants. Sickening, embarrassing, moronic, disgraceful.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 18, 2015
Defending his fellow professionals
Already enjoying the 'let's use the Olympic stick to bash football brigade. As predictable as it is boring. 🙄— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 22, 2016
Corruption in Athletics
Lord Coe has never heard of any rumours of bribery. Must be about the only person who hasn't. What happens to people when they gain power?— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 2, 2015
The future of the BBC
The (alleged) behaviour of our political leaders
At least we now know why the Prime minister switched his allegiance to West Ham.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 22, 2015
The treatment of Chelsea physio Dr Eva Carneiro
Might apply for the Chelsea doctor's job given the applicant must understand football. Not sure if any medical knowledge is required.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 12, 2015
Eventually it had to lead to who Eva Carneiro may, or may not, have slept with. It truly makes you despair for this country!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 16, 2015
The terrorist attacks in Paris
It's just incomprehensible that human beings can be so evil to innocent, fellow human beings. What a mess of a species we are!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 14, 2015
And, just as controversially as all the rest, One Direction
Zayn Malik has left One Direction. Life will never be quite the same again.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 25, 2015
Forget the haters Gary: keep it up, we say.