Why should I tweet or even read what other people tweet?
By Janice Friesen
I am regularly asked why anyone would use Twitter. This is because I work mostly with people aged 40-80 who have not used technology much. I always try to respond with my own experience. Sometimes I have used it and sometimes I ignore it for months. I don’t feel like I have to read what everyone I follow says. If I don’t like what someone I follow writes about I can stop following them without any hurt feelings. I can choose to only follow people who write and share what I think are interesting things. Once a friend I knew shared about the Egyptian Spring AS IT HAPPENED!
When I share it is because I have found an interesting resource. Or maybe I have had a universal and interesting experience. Maybe I retweet something I think is really important that someone else tweeted. Also, many teachers I know have found that it is a great way to connect to like-minded people across the globe and support one-another’s teaching. It makes meeting at a conference somewhere really exciting.
This morning though, I read a terrific article in the New York Times Week in Review Section about why Scott Simon of NPR tweeted his Mother’s last hours. It was the best description of why someone tweets that I have come across. I cannot do it justice here, but here is a quote.
“Tweets are not compulsory reading. I did not pass on medical details, or rattle family skeletons. And I never suggested – my mother would have insisted on this – that her death was a tragedy. She lived a long, full, fascinating life, and died with her son by her side. I posted messages in which I admitted some of my anxieties and shared some of my mother’s wit and spirit as we went though an intense experience that, one way or another we will all have.”
If you want to know more, read the article. “Tweeting Mom’s Goodbye” New York Times Sunday March, 29, 2015.
About the Author
Janice Friesen (@jfriesen) is a Texas Certified teacher who has spent over 15 years teaching elementary students and other teachers to use computers. She founded Im-NotAGeek.com where she writes for general audiences and shares her special interest in seniors. This article first appeared on her blog, along with these related articles about Twitter
EDITOR: How I use Twitter at Modern Health Talk
You may have noticed a Twitter Feed at the bottom of the side-bar. From there you can tweet to @mHealthTalk, follow us (along with 335 others so far), or scroll down to see more of our tweets. Less obvious is my personal Twitter handle (@WayneCaswell with 91 followers) and that of Intelligent Sleep (@IntellibedTexas, 357 followers). I’m not a Twitter expert, but here’s how I use it. If you have other tips, please share below.
What and when I tweet — Blog articles are posted to Twitter automatically, and they’re also posted to our pages on Facebook and Google+. I also use TweetDeck, a free app for your Mac or PC, to tweet about stories in the mainstream press that I find especially interesting. TweetDeck allows me to mange my 3 twitter accounts and pick which ones I should tweet to. It also lets me schedule tweets so I don’t overwhelm you. In general I try to not send more than one tweet an hour. If the article is about health care in general, I send from @mHealthTalk. If it’s about sleep wellness or brain health, I usually send it from @IntellibedTexas, and occasionally I’ll send from both. My personal ID us used for my other interests, including Broadband, Smart Homes, Internet of Things, and Politics.
Who I follow and how I use Flipboard — I follow people who tweet about things I’m interested in, including articles about health care, independent living, sleep & brain health, etc. I especially like that articles they tweet about are automatically aggregated into a consistent newspaper format using Flipboard, because each morning I use Flipboard for almost all of my reading. It gathers stories matching my interest areas and blends them with more general stories from the mainstream press in a way that makes it easy for me to flip through the many stories and read the ones I want. I can also “flip” articles into my own boards for mHealthTalk and Intelligent Sleep. I highly recommend using this tool, and subscribing to mHealthTalk boards.