I’m middle aged. I’m 42. And this side of ‘40’ has thus far resulted in reading glasses, having to wash the grey from my hair more frequently and more trips to the doctor in the past year than I’ve had in the past 20 years. Once I’ve finally got my head together, it’s my body that goes all Pete Tong.
Recently, however, I’ve become aware of another symptom of middle age – I’m no longer a product of the world in which I reside. The world of my youth is gone, a distant age symbolised by long dead VCRs, Pac-Mans and Walkmans, smoking in pubs, dial landline telephones, typewriters and cassettes. The new world, feels strange, disconnected from me. I do not want it to be this way. I want to be part of this world. I try. Look at me, typing on my laptop, texting on my phone, updating my blog, uploading photos, linking stories to YouTube, TED and my Facebook page. Me.
Yes me, who was, I’ll have you know, the first journalist in my hometown of Waterford to report on this new-fangled phenomenon called the ‘Internet’ way back in 1994. I’d been to New York and had seen it in action, me myself, personally like – came home and spread the word via my column in a local paper. So, I’m no Luddite, I’m all for the new. I just resent its alien nature, and wish it was as natural to me as, say, satellite TV was to my generation. Which is a very long winded way of announcing that only thanks to a younger, hipper and more plugged in colleague, I’ve returned to Twitter.
I joined Twitter yonks ago, but could never see the point in it – unless you were a celebrity and (sad) people were actually interested in what you were having for breakfast. So, I sort of gave up and linked my Twitter account to my blog and never checked it, nor tweeted. My colleague, Dan, has cajoled me into giving it another go, to tweet daily and make contact with cyber people, cyber readers and writers and publisher and agents and reviewers and people who might help my career (is mentioning that you’re doing this for networking reasons breaking some sort of etiquette?). So, I’ve updated my Twitter profile et al and I’ll give it a go. I’ll not be growing old gracefully, dammit!
November 20th, 2012 at 10:49
Twitter is great, it has an entertaining ‘dip in’ nature, but it is also good for opportunities. It took me ages to make sense of it, and I’m still not sure if I’m doing it right but I found this article helpful for etiquette -http://www.bitrebels.com/social/10-acts-of-twitter-kindness/
November 20th, 2012 at 12:00
I’m an intermittent Tweeter. It’s hard to really keep up with people. I’m not quite sure — no, I know I don’t — use it to its actual potential but the nuances of it escape me.
November 20th, 2012 at 14:54
Twitter is different things to different people. Some use it to hear about news or events, some use it to advertise jobs, others use it for marketing their products or services.
In my case, I use it for education. People have pointed me toward great examples of photography, social media and writing, which are some of my interests.
But like blogging, Twitter requires a certain amount of interaction with other people. I love to get Twitter conversations going when possible and people appreciate it when you stop by and react to their tweet. I follow some famous people and some not-so-famous people, but they’re all interesting.
Some of it also depends on WHEN you tweet, bearing in mind that your tweets may be seen by people in different time zones. I time my tweets so that they are likely to be seen at times when people are most likely to be visiting their Twitter accounts.
November 20th, 2012 at 18:19
Fair play to you, Sue, in staying abreast of the ever changing tech world. Myself, I’m a bit afraid of Twitter, but I guess it’s inevitable. Loved the photo, btw.
November 20th, 2012 at 19:38
Haven’t taken the twitter plunge yet myself…I’d be interested to hear how it works for you after a while and if you think it’s worth it…or simply another distraction from real writing and another cyber escape from the real word of real voices and real faces.
November 21st, 2012 at 00:30
Not sure myself about twitter, I’m poking it with a sharp stick to see if I can annoy it at the moment. And you haven’t changed a bit 😉
November 21st, 2012 at 08:46
No, you don’t wanna do that Sue, who wants to grow old gracefully?
I’m 44 *sharp intake of breath* and determined to keep up to date with all the social media, as a writer, I think you have to 😦
Good luck with Twitter 🙂
November 26th, 2012 at 08:31
I can relate. I didn’t grow up with computers or relentless self-exposure. I must be one of the only humans left who isn’t on Facebook.
I’m ambivalent about blogging and tweeting. I feel pressured to build an online profile for my writing and employment. Who cares what I’m doing and why do I have to share everything with strangers, including identity thieves? What happened to real conversations with people you really know?
Sometimes it seems like a distraction from writing what you want to write.
November 26th, 2012 at 22:31
I guess I’m really, really old. I don’t see the point in Twitter for me. I’m retired, not looking for work, don’t really care about what all the celebrities are saying about themselves. Anything I need I can find on the Internet. Anyone I need to get in touch with is one of my Facebook friends or can be reached by email or aren’t even on the Internet so I just speed-dial them. Is there any good reason for me to Twitter? I think not.
Now, if I was 20 years younger, it may be a different story…though I know many your age who are doing just fine without it.
Good post, however.
December 19th, 2012 at 04:29
I know just how you feel! Though I’m still only a Twitter lurker at the moment… Good luck!
May 19th, 2013 at 10:11
Reblogged this on suehealy.
May 19th, 2013 at 11:52
No, no, no, suehealy – you will not drag me with you into the dark and mysterious world of twitter and/or facebook! I’ve done enough – I’ve started a blog and incredibly managed to pick up followers, without begging, stealing or borrowing (well not much). But twitter … facebook … well, they’re too scary – really! LOL – your 17 year-old self has exactly the same hairstyle as I had at 17 – same vintage. Enjoyed reading this so much. Safia (who would probably tweet if her agent told her to).
May 19th, 2013 at 14:00
After reading that post, I felt like I had just read MY story. Although I’m a Facebook fan, Twitter never seemed to appeal to me much. With the speedy, hash-tagged, celebrity dominated atmosphere it has, I shied away from it. But now with my blog and business intentions, I’m looking at it in a whole new perspective – Networking.
Good article…snapped me right in!
May 19th, 2013 at 14:08
I understand completely. Technology moves a lot faster than I am able to keep up with. Good luck with Twitter.
May 19th, 2013 at 17:13
Twitter’s cool 😉 I’m not the remotest bit interested in all the celebrity small talk and neitheher do I use it as a communication tool between friends as there are better online sources for that,. I do however love the chance to keep up with organisations and people who share, and embrace my interests. It can be very educational and gives opportunity to share views that otherwise might never be heard!
May 20th, 2013 at 01:38
I second europasicewolf. On Twitter, the people that I follow often point me toward interesting stories or images I might never have seen otherwise.
And who cares about age? I like a bumper sticker I once saw:”I may grow old but I’ll never grow up!” 😉
May 20th, 2013 at 19:43
I hear you and I feel similar! I actually used the internet at my job before 1994, but still…I too feel disconnected, but more because the social rules I learned as a child seem to be a thing of the past. So true.
May 27th, 2013 at 23:36
Thank You for visiting & following my Blog, MUCH Appreciated.
May 30th, 2013 at 11:15
I experience the same disconnect from “modernity,” but I’m comfortable with the idea that none of that stuff matters. Only the young care about keeping up with the changes that never stop.