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Tweeting, for twits

February 11, 2011

I feel stupid tweeting, but I do it anyway

Until recently, I had a lot of disdain for Twittering. I am over 50, therefore, my disdain was inevitable. It was reminiscent of the disdain the Victorians had for telephones. “Nasty, invasive things! Who wants to talk to someone through a wire and a box anway??” went the thinking at the time. This sort of resistance is not surprising, when it comes from a generation not born and raised with a technology or skill, and can’t imagine themselves ever needing it or using it. However, you should know that Twittering (okay, Tweeting) has become legitimatized largely because without it, Egypt would still be squashed under the thumb of a totalitarian dictator.

I make fun of Twitter, but I am not averse to its social power. When I advertise this and other blogs via social networks, Twitter reaches more people, and returns more viewers to my blogs. The masses really do Tweet. They really do use Twitter, and if you’re over 50, and you’re not Tweeting or using Twitter, or can’t see the point to it, you really are missing the boat, and will be put off at the next stop by all the people younger than you who get it.

Egypt’s current uprising has been called ‘the first technological revolution’. I don’t know if that’s entirely true; it probably depends on how you define ‘technology,’ since I’m sure those who fought WWI thought of themselves as the first generation to fight a technologically-driven war, as has any generation who makes use of a new technology (whatever it is) when they foment rebellion. But anyone can speak their minds, no matter how vacuous the content; tweets are not usually historical and earth-shattering.

On the Twitter website, I just looked up a contemporary of mine, a nice-sounding man, Allan Love, who was on one of Gordon Ramsay’s TV shows a few years ago. At the time, Mr. Love owned a restaurant in Brighton, England; I don’t know what he’s doing now, since although he is registered on Twitter, he has never tweeted. He had, or has, a business that he could be tweeting about, but he’s not. Then you take one look at him, and you can see, oh, he’s over 50. Personally, my ego is invested in my ability to know how to do things, and if I’m not on the cutting edge (and I’m not anymore, if I ever was) then I want to at least have the same toys everyone else has, even if I don’t quite know how to make them work, and my thought is, business owners should be tweeting.

Therefore, I had to have Twitter, although I follow very few people. I honestly cannot see myself glued to my Twitter screen, watching as each new tweet comes in, telling me Rachel’s batch of cupcakes didn’t come out quite right. Tweeting is the height of mind-numbing, modern-technology-overload, communication gone awry. But it’s also useful, and powerful as heckfire, if it assists a country to oust its calcified leader. When you Tweet, you are sending out some combination of useless personal information that only your truest friends care about, and actual news that could be considered historical Truth.

I want to fit in too

If you’re over 50, you’re not Tweeting, are you? No, you’re not. I don’t need statistics to back up this assertion (only 1 in 10 of all those over 50 who are online are also Tweeting). I already know it’s true, since mentally, over-50 year-olds too often calcify, just like Mubarak, and let his downfall be a lesson to you. Was he tweeting during the uprising? If he had been, he could have told his story the way his people could hear him, instead of alienating them.

Although I understand the reluctance to engage with strangers in a vacuous manner, the seeming stupidity of tweeting (I call it twitting, for twits), it’s actually an incredibly useful advertising and PR device that people younger than you take seriously. So if you’re over 50 and have a small business, or just have kids who don’t talk to you and think you’re antediluvian, think about it. Others our age are doing it, by the way, so don’t be left out of the latest craze! The future of the world is online. Social media, according to all reports, like rock and roll, is here to stay. Time to adapt, dinosaurs.

Such a cute little bird, isn't it? Devious marketing tools that hook you

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2011 7:28 PM

    Heh, yes I am over 50 and yes I want to be up to date with social media and how it might help the lil blog I am starting. Facebook and Twitter make me shudder but I resolve to Make an Effort. So, what are some examples of people you follow on Twitter and why?

    • February 15, 2011 9:05 PM

      To be honest, I have no idea who these people are. I think I am probably following some of the people who follow me. Twitter has made little sense to me until recently. I hate following people; it’s time consuming, and I have so little interest in what anyone is saying. I’m probably following companies or something boring.

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