Last week I read a blog post, written by a Millennial, positing that Facebook is good for Baby Boomers because they can keep up with friends, but there is no need for us to bother with any other social network platforms. She reasons that Baby Boomers do not need Twitter because it is mostly news and we can just keep getting our news from newspapers or news websites. Sure, why should Baby Boomers bother to evolve with the changing technology landscape?
There are many reasons that Baby Boomers should use a variety of social media platforms. Social media is the best and fastest way to keep up with what is new. It is a great way to talk to people from all over the world. And it can lead to lifelong learning.
Below are the specific benefits of each social network. (Not including business or blogging benefits)
Twitter is a platform that allows anyone to send messages of 140 characters, or less, that anyone can read. It is where I get all my breaking news. By just quickly stopping by Twitter every now and then and checking the trending list on the home page, I instantly know if anything really big happened. This is also the best place to see what everyone is talking about. If you want to prove to people, like the author of the blog post above, that Baby Boomers are still relevant and keep up with pop culture, Twitter is one of the best ways to do so.
On Twitter, you can follow anyone that you want. There is no friending like on Facebook. So follow all your favorite news sources, authors, celebrities, anybody you find interesting. You can also search Twitter for words or names or hashtags and your results will not be limited to only those you follow.
Pinterest is all about pictures. But not pictures you take. Your Pinterest page is a virtual scrapbook of boards filled with pictures that your found on the Internet. Each board has a topic. Popular boards are recipes, favorite places and fashion. It can be just fun or useful. It can be useful if you save recipes by posting a picture from a recipe you’ve found, because when you later click the picture from Pinterest, it will take you back the the web page of the recipe. Same with a dress you might see and save in fashion, or a gadget you want to look into and save in technology. Pinterest is also fun. I have boards on favorite TV shows, movies, actors, etc and love looking at my collections. In addition to adding pictures from the Internet, you can see other members pictures and repin them on your boards.
Vine is a mobile video app in which you can take very short videos that continuously loop. Why wouldn’t a Baby Boomer want to use this? We mostly have smart phones. Even for non-techies, it is pretty easy to take a video for 6 or 7 seconds. And you have the option to make the video public or private. And with Baby Boomers becoming grandparents, Vine is another way to document the wonders of grandchildren.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too old for any type of technology. Learning how to do new things is the best way to stay young. And by learning new technology skills, not only are you learning those skills, but you are opening yourself up to so many other methods of learning through websites, mobile app and social media.