The Twitterverse

TwitterverseTell the truth: When you hear the word “tweet”, do you


a – instinctively start to snap your fingers, roll your shoulders and boogie to the tune of “Rockin’ Robin”?
b – wax nostalgic for Tweety and Sylvester of Looney Tunes fame?
c – run to your smart phone to check on your “followers” or “tweet” something to those who “follow” you?

If you answered “a” or “b,” you may not yet have embraced the Social Media of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr.  Maybe you don’t ever plan to.

If you answered “c” you probably already know that Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service where users send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters.

Me?  Even though my Baja friends think of me as a tech guru (making my son roll his eyes), I have only a passing acquaintance with Facebook, have never used Twitter, and am not quite sure what Instagram or Tumblr are

But, ladies and gentlemen, we with our heads in the sand about Social Media might be in need of an Attitude Adjustment.  These things are here to stay.

How do I know this?

Clue #1: Driving through Texas hill country this summer, on a two-lane road with barely a sign of civilization, we came upon a Mom and Pop bbq joint at a wide-spot in the road. The sandwich board sign out front? “LIKE US ON Facebook.”

Clue # 2: Watched TV lately?  Listened to the serious news voice of NPR [National Public Radio]?  They all want us to “join them on Facebook,” and “follow them on Twitter.”

Clue #3: People get jobs because of Twitter.  The Wall Street Journal reported…. several years ago now… on a young man who rose to the top of the candidate pool because he followed the Fortune 500 CEO on Twitter.  His in-depth knowledge and demonstrated interest in the company paid off.

These days, for breaking news, reporters are glued to Twitter because of its ability to bring in instant information; it has become as important as having the police scanner on all the time once was for crime reporters.

It can help topple governments (Remember the Arab Spring?).  It can be a communication lifeline, as it was during the earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima when cellphone networks went down.

Yes, Twitter can be full of nonsense (I hear it gets pretty busy at Red Carpet time.), but it has more than 500 million registered users and only eleven percent of them are aged twelve to seventeen.

Remember when some of us resisted telephone answering machines?  Bet you forgot that we once considered them frivolous if not rude.  We got over it.

Now we need to get acquainted with Social Media… at least a little bit.

You can look for me on Facebook.  But you might not find me – I do have an account because someone told me I needed one, but I really don’t do much of anything with it.

And I have no plans for putting the Twitter app on my smart phone.

However, as my wise father always said, “Never say never.”

About Susan Shea