To Tweet or not to tweet, that is the question of 2010. It seems as though Twitter has settled into more of a tool for marketing businesses rather than staying in touch with each other. Text messaging has filled that role nicely. Most young people use text messaging as much or more than emailing. However, for receiving insightful information from those you find interesting, Twitter is a great resource. It enables you to stay very current on trends, news, special deals, and generally what is happening in the world. For those who watch very little television, this can be a great tool for getting information either constantly or as you desire it. Twitter is incredibly easy to sign up for, and the user is in complete control of the information view or share.
Facebook is a bit less user-friendly, but has some great benefits. Perhaps the biggest benefit to boomers is the ability to stay in touch with kids and grandkids. However, as statistics circulate that the largest growth in Facebook users is 50+, it is possible some of the younger generations will seek another social media outlet. According to Facebook’s Social Ads Platform, from 1/04/09 to 1/04/10 users age 35-55 grew 328%, and 55+ grew 923% – all three younger segments combined only grew 267%. One might argue that most of the younger generations are already users and therefore growth will be limited. One 76-year-old grandma we know uses Facebook to stay up on pictures posted of kids and grandkids. Most boomers we know use it for the same purposes, as well as business promotion, and to stay connected to friends and family. Just like most anything, moderation is the key to enjoying FB (as it is commonly called) – constant/daily contact will likely do you in.
YouTube can be hilarious – or rude, useful – or completely ridiculous. Just like Google, you can type in anything you are interested in viewing. Typing “how to cook chili” resulted in pages of video clips to produce the perfect pot of chili. You do not need to sign up for basic access. You can view lectures on physics, learn to crochet, hear the latest hits performed. One proud grandpa we know is able to share video clips of his granddaughter singing at her graduation, or performing a monologue that was part of her college application. How cool is that?
YouTube also offers links to news, TV shows and movie trailers. A search for Boomer related videos yielded one from Katie Couric’s Notebook series on “Boomeritis .” However, we suggest to really develop an appreciation for YouTube, one should start with cat videos . Once you recover from your own laughter, you will want to progress to the funniest baby giggles. These alone, are worth some occasional YouTube surfing!