Twitter: Learning to Tweet When You’re Over 50

How to Use Twitter

Twitter, Learn to Tweet, Girl on Ipad

Yesterday I decided to jump headfirst into the world of Twitter.

Twitter. Instagram. Snap Chat. These are what the kids use. I don’t know how any of them work. But I keep reading that Twitter is a great place to connect with other bloggers so I thought I would dive in.

Follow, Tweet, Retweet.

Visiting Twitter is like visiting a foreign country. Until you master the language you feel a bit lost.

But as with a foreign language, the best way to learn is by total immersion. So I jumped right in. I followed a few people, retweeted a few tweets and felt like I was off to a good start.

Then it happened!

As I was exploring this strange new land of Twitter, a notification popped up. Yes, that’s right! The message indicator on the bottom of my screen lit up. I admit it. I panicked. My heart started pounding, my fight or flight response kicked in, and I immediately closed my iPad.

I knew I was being ridiculous, and once the panic subsided, I opened the message. Okay, good…someone thanked me for following them. But was this a tweet? I wasn’t sure.

That’s not how it works…

I asked my husband for help. As he was giving me a long explanation, which I wasn’t totally understanding, my 15-year-old chimed in with “OMG, Dad! That’s not how it works.” And with the dramatic eye rolling that only a 15-year-old can pull off, she gave me a lesson on the difference between a tweet and a direct message — plus a few other helpful hints.

Is it more difficult to learn social media when you are 50+

While slightly annoyed at her attitude, I was pretty impressed with her knowledge. And it left me wondering. Why does this stuff come so much easier to the younger generation? Can you really not teach an old dog new tricks? Is the fact that I am over 50 the reason I’m struggling?

Then it hit me. It wasn’t easier for my daughter to learn how to use social media. She had simply taken the time to figure it out, while I hadn’t.

Here are some of the Twitter terms she explained to me:

  • Follower: Someone who follows you on Twitter and sees your updates on their feed. Your feed shows tweets from accounts you follow.
  • Tweet: <140-character message that you send out to your followers.
      • Tweets can include pictures
      • Tweets can include links
  • Retweet: Sharing someone else’s tweet that you find interesting. There are several ways to retweet.
      • Hitting the retweet button will send the tweet to your followers showing the original tweet and indicating that you retweeted it.
      • You can also retweet with a comment. Type your comment and then RT @username. Not only will your followers see this but the original person who tweeted it will get a notification.
  • Mention (@): Use the @ with a username to mention them in a tweet. They will see it in their notifications. (e.g. @onewhiteroad)
  • Direct Message (DM): A private tweet that only the people involved in the direct message can see. You can only direct message people who follow you.
  • Hashtag #: Use # before a term to make it searchable – indicates the topic of your conversation. (e.g. #learningtotweet). You can also click on any hashtag to see all the tweets that have used that particular hashtag.
  • Reply: You can join a conversation by clicking the reply button.

Now that I’ve started to figure out twitter, I’m wondering what to try next. Maybe Instagram or Snap Chat. Idk…Follow me on Twitter and I’ll let you know when I decide!


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