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 jghaas@cox.net.

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. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year

    Military

    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  2. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'

    K12

    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. [iStockphoto.com]
  3. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]
  4. What you need to know for Monday, May 29

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    In the weeks before Memorial Day, cemetery caretaker Gary Iles and the staff at Bay Pines National Cemetery are busy preparing the sprawling property for the annual ceremony honoring the fallen. Iles, an Army veteran who started out as a volunteer at Bay Pines, says working at the cemetery is a way for him to continue serving those who died for their country. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival wraps up with Above and Beyond, more at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    The first numbers trickled in on Sunday, and they didn't look great.

    Louis the Child performed at the Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium on May 28, 2017.