Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Twitter has baby boomers atwitter

I was accused recently of being too old to be a credible baby boomer columnist. And after due reflection, I have to reluctantly agree.

Because I don't Twitter.

This would not have seemed, to me, to define a "with it" and "without it" person a few weeks ago. But that was before I spent time with a teenage grandson, the oldest of my eight.

Most of my grandkids are under 10, but this one youngster is in high school. And he lives on the computer, his texting cell phone and his iPod.

I'm in awe of his ability to write with alacrity using only his thumbs. I'm also aware there are fears we're raising a generation that will be unable to communicate verbally.

Nothing new about that observation, of course.

In 2009, the New York Times reported teens were getting about 80 messages a day, on average, or almost 2,500 a month. Physicians and psychologists, said the report, are concerned about everything from repetitive stress disorder to sleep deprivation for teens.

Just a year later, Pew Research reported that half of the teen texters send more than 200 texts a day, or 6,000 a month. Boys typically send and receive 30 texts and girls about 80 a day.

Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber recently released a video warning teens about texting while driving. Too many crashes, he said.

So what does all this thumb-throbbing really mean for the future?

I'm going out on a writer's limb here and saying we might be raising a generation that stays in touch better than we do.

Just consider what e-mail has done for you. Yeah, I know about spam and all the junk, and I also know I am hearing from more folks than I used to when the only way to communicate was paper and pen.

Yesterday's e-mails are now Facebook, which is the primary way I know what's going on with my son and his family in New Hampshire — although I did get a little miffed to hear, on Andy's Facebook before getting a Grandma update, that a grandson had suffered a concussion.

Still, Facebook lets you "talk" to many people at once. It also lets you tell them a lot of inane verbiage that makes me wonder how people set value on their daily activities.

But I digress.

My point is that keeping up is hard to do. Like Twitter. Once you fail to learn to Twitter, what else will slip by you? Before you know it, the whole world will be chatting in some bizarre "language" that leaves you in the dark computer ages — old in lack of action if not actual years.

I never thought it would happen to me. But who among us does? We assume if we know how to download our digital photos, we're right on the curve. So how come Apple keeps updating its iPad?

Which, naturally, brings us to apps and notebooks and my Kindle, which is heavy and cumbersome compared to the Nook.

Keeping up is hard to do. Unless you are a teen.

My grandson spent most of his evening on his laptop listening to music through earplugs. Our conversations were brief. His mom says sometimes hers don't even exist. "I'll pick him up at the bus stop and he's listening to something and when he gets home he goes upstairs. And sometimes, somehow he eats something, but I don't see him again until morning."

That's the way teens are today, she says.

Why am I hopeful? We survived the TV era — the bug eyes from morning till night watching sitcoms and game shows and even (good grief!) The Ed Sullivan Show. We haven't shut up.

Old? Me? Ask me later. Right now I'm Googling how to Twitter. Life is tweet.

Jane Glenn Haas is the founder of WomanSage.com. She can be reached at [email protected]

Twitter has baby boomers atwitter 08/23/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Orange County (Calif.) Register.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: DOT listens, adjusts on I-275 plans in Tampa

    Editorials

    Florida continues to improve its plan for modernizing the interstate system in Tampa Bay. The Florida Department of Transportation has unveiled four new options for rebuilding I-275 near downtown Tampa, and some of them would ditch previous plans for toll lanes downtown while keeping express lanes for faster, …

    State officials are re-evaluating parts of I-4 and I-275 in Tampa as part of a supplemental environmental impact study, or SEIS. 
  2. College basketball scandal dips into Tampa Bay

    Preps

    Tuesday's national college basketball scandal has recruiting ties to Tampa Bay.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]
  3. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.
  4. Republican leader McConnell pulls the plug on latest Obamacare repeal effort

    WASHINGTON --- Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday officially pulled the plug on the latest plan to repeal the health care law, telling senators they will not vote on the measure and effectively admitting defeat in the last-gasp drive to fulfill a core promise of President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, after the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary. DeVos was approved by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) DCSA119
  5. Lightning's Brayden Point could be perfect fit alongside Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov

    Lightning Strikes

    SUNRISE — Brayden Point ended last season as the Lightning's No. 1 center, thrust into the role as a rookie due to injuries.

    Lightning center Brayden Point (21) advances the puck through the neutral zone during Friday's preseason game against the Nashville Predators. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]