Teaching an Old Dog New Tweets

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Social media has been a craze now for several years.  I first opened my Twitter account in 2009 against my will.  I thought “Oh No, here’s another tech trend that may or may not last.” When I saw journalists using it for story ideas and reaching out to contacts that’s when I thought it was legit.  Then I liked it. I realized I could follow all the news outlets, entertainment, corporate entities, C level execs and friends and get the overall news of the morning in five minutes. For a news junkie like myself this was great!  I used to read the front page of the Wall Street Journal to get an overview of the news but now, I can online.  Two years ago I felt compelled to write an article on Twitter for Newsday’s Part 2 section which is published on Saturday’s and was geared toward seniors.  So I wrote why it’s a good idea to use Twitter – To #Twitter or Not to Twitter that was the question.  I got some positive responses from seniors in my own town about how they now understood it a bit better. So, why not present to a room of seniors and others on the merits of using Twitter for communication, information sharing and helping you in a crisis?

Having been a substitute teacher for elementary kids, I know I like teaching. Having an M.A. in Marketing Communication and over twenty years of practice I know I create strategies and have ideas for messaging that have helped companies, C level executives and the entrepreneur move their businesses forward and get them publicity.  So why not teach adults and seniors?

I created a program via the old Powerpoint and have presented at half a dozen libraries thus far.  I have more scheduled. Having had close to 100 audience members I’ve gotten a thrill of helping mostly seniors who attend understand the tech social media phenomenon and why it’s good for them to use.  It is another form of communication.  140 characters make it SMS text or Short Message Service. This is important to know as the old Beeper’s used 160 characters or less and allowed mostly doctors, executives get messages when other forms of communication were not possible.  In fact, texting, or tweeting can get your message out even when you don’t have a signal – it will hold the message and send when you do have a signal.  I teach them to keep important numbers, emails, people’s addresses on a piece of paper too.  Paper doesn’t lose internet connections.  Paper doesn’t lose electricity.  Technology has greatly advanced our way of communicating but only when the wireless or electric is working.

In 140 characters you can share information, connect with like minded people, companies, around the world.  Every minute brings new tweets, information and connections with family and friends. And, if you are without electricity and limited signal on your cell or tablet, you can actually tweet out to targeted people add a  # to make sure your words or emphasized and trend to get attention.  Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks? I’ve learned that I can take my marketing and communications skills and teach what I know to willing and interested adults who in turn have learned more about communicating.  I’ve discovered I can create new avenues for my career and in turn help others.

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