Tweeting Lessons For Boomers

Why Bother TweetingTrying 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.

Here’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.

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Tweeting Lessons For Boomers was last modified: by

Ronna Benjamin

Ronna Benjamin

After 28 years of practicing real estate law, Ronna Benjamin realized how much she loved writing and how much she hated lawyering. She jumped into the world of writing at Better After 50 and never looked back! She is loving her “second act” as Partner and Managing Editor at Better After 50. Ronna writes humorously about the things BA50s are concerned about – personal experiences with adult children, the quirks of aging parents and in-laws, and her own emotional and physical health issues (i.e., insomnia, anxiety, and bulging waist lines). A native Bostonian who loves to spend time with her husband and three adult children, Ronna also enjoys sailing, cooking, running, and biking–and she tolerates skiing so she is not left home during family vacations. Check out her new book “We Are Better After 50 Because…” co-written by Ronna and her BA50 Partner Felice Shapiro, a perfect gift for the birthday girl in her 50’s! 

  5 comments for “Tweeting Lessons For Boomers

  1. March 12, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Ronna, agree 100% and I love your examples. May I offer one more? in the aftermath of Sandy this fall, the local news media, including Patch (hyper-local news) kept tweeting which I could read on my phone while the rest of the grid was dark for 10 days. There is real utility and not just fun in twitter and I encourage mid-lifers to take the plunge and not be left behind in the social media parade.

  2. Marlene Clayton
    March 12, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Do I really need to know Justin had the worst birthday,as he tweeted. Hey instead of wasting time twittering for publicity, visit the DFCI and visit the kids your age who maybe having bad days and make them a little better.

  3. March 12, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Ronna – thank you!! I’ve been so confused by Hashtags I just quit using them. This series of social media articles is excellent. I’m going to promote them later today on my DameNation facebook fan page. Love them!

  4. Linda D'Arcy
    March 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm


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