Tweeting Lessons For Boomers

Online social media is constantly being talked about and in the news. But how far have you ventured into social media beyond perhaps Facebook? Ronna Benjamin of Better After 50  has helpful tips for using and having fun on Twitter.

Trying to keep young and hip? It’s always harder than you think. Did you spill a little stardust from the bottle of meteorite cream? Miss the free shipping offer on the Garcinia Cambogia Extract? Maybe you could not find a hairdresser to do your balayage just right. Maybe your gym does not offer Piloxing classes, or maybe you weren’t able to splurge on the bee venom facial. But even if you feel and look fantastic–even if it hurts to smile, you are still running marathons and you haven’t eaten gluten in a year, it doesn’t matter.

Twitter-Why-Bother-300x300Here’s what matters: How on top of social media are you? And sorry, the fact that you have a Facebook page and use it to stalk your kids, wish the people you can’t stand in real time a “happy birthday,” and brag about your fabulous vacation just doesn’t cut it any more. My mother and aunt both use Facebook…need I say more?

Can you tweet? Do you stumble upon? Have you reddit?

I know, I know. It was so much easier for our parents back in the day, right? #Itsuckstogetold.

But at least I am trying. See, I have used a hashtag!

I actually started tweeting a few months ago. To be fair, I only started because I had to. I’m promoting, and it’s just one of those things you do these days if you have a business–especially an online business.

But I kept asking myself why a normal, everyday 50-something–one who is not promoting either herself or a business–would want to tweet. When asked by friends, I parroted the answers of social media gurus, but their arguments seemed utterly unconvincing. Here’s what the experts say about why anyone should tweet:

You can follow “thought” leaders, get real time news, interact with your favorite brands, stay abreast of the latest trends in your field, follow your favorite sports teams, keep up to date on your interests and hobbies, follow hashtags during events to follow “backchannel” chatter.

B-O-R-I-N-G, right? Who really cares about that stuff?

What if I told you that you could complain all day long about the little stupid things that bother you (what my daughter calls “first world problems”), in real time, conveying a sarcastic tone, showing how clever you are–and not get into any trouble–you’d jump right on that bandwagon, wouldn’t you?

Are you almost convinced? Consider this bonus: Although unconfirmed by any scientific research, I am sure that tweeting is good for your brain. Tweeting requires you to be clever while you are complaining in 140 characters or less. Believe me, that is not only a challenge, but it is more satisfying than Words With Friends–and you can’t lose to the friend you thought was kind of an idiot.

And so, my friends, tweeting makes for a fun and creative pastime that you don’t want to miss out on. Are you with me yet?

There really aren’t any rules to tweeting (other than the 140 character limit), but you’ve got to know about hashtags (you’ve probably seen these # symbols lately in all sorts of places you were sure they didn’t belong.)

The experts will tell you that you use hashtags to make your tweets searchable. But that is ridiculous–no one is searching what you are tweeting about. Hashtags are simply a method to help you be creative or sarcastic.

It is best to explain by example.

Are you pissed at yourself for eating the entire box Girl Scout Cookies?

Tweet: Bought Caramel Delites from niece. Crumbs and plastic only evidence. #EatTilYouHateYourself. #hopeIgetastomachbug

Get it?

Did you recently get an insulting package from AARP?

Tweet: Today I got a package from AARP with a tacky looking red nylon bag for carrying diapers/meds. Conveniently hooks on a walker. #WTFisAARPthinking?

Are you at a new restaurant and the waitress is a little too slow bringing you the menus? You are so on top of it.

Tweet: @awfulsteakhouse. Might die here before waitress brings over menus. #WorstserviceEVER.

Do you have a pain in your hip flexor, shoulder or lower back (of course you do!)?

Tweet: every day I wake up with a new pain. #middleagesucks #IWishItWereTheBDSM.

I think you get it (but you may want to follow me for more exciting tweets like these.) And I am sure you will love it too. Complaining in 140 characters or less is very liberating and fun.

It’s time to show the world that we BA50s are so very #youngandtrendy.

Are you ready to set up your Twitter Account? It’s easy! Click here for step by step instructions on setting up a Twitter Account.


  1. A good read although I am still not really sure I get what Twitter is all about. Is it a social thing or a business tool?

    I know I must use it more than I do for our website business but is it really time effective to do so?

    Perhaps Mike has the right idea – go for a walk instead.



  2. Loved the post. I am a recent tweeter. I find it stupid, but I am doing it anyway for business purposes. Way too much time with all these things: FB, Twitter, LI. But thanks for the humorous look at it. and now I “get” hashtags! #ilearnsomethingeveryday

  3. I like this idea better idea. Each time you get the urge to Tweet or to explore the latest nonsense on Facebook, just don’t! Instead, just step away from your computer and head outdoors for a hike, bike ride, run, or even just a brisk walk. Years from now when all those trendy Tweeters are old and stooped from Tweeting all day, you will still be youthful, limber, fit … and maybe even a little suntanned.

  4. I agree with Lorie. As those of use who need to use social media for other purposes (other than staying connected) I find twitter one sided. I hardly ever open the account and I don’t have a phone where I tweet everything that happens to me (ala FB). In fact if I could get everyone I know off FB I would be a happy camper.

    I find myself on LinkedIn the majority of the time. It’s been great for social interaction and business leads and information sharing, and I get to do it in full sentences. And to me, that trumps hashtags and having to stay at 140 words or less.

  5. I can relate to this post. The problem is that Twitter is only one of the social networking sites that we, as business owners, must frequent. It’s very time consuming and a lot of the time I feel like I’m talking to myself.

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