This week my self-assigned project was to master Twitter, to become an expert tweeter as they say. Before you jump to the conclusion that I had the urge to send the world a “selfie” or to start following the daily minutiae of my favorite Hollywood stars, let me set the record straight! I’m working to master Twitter as another way to connect with my Millennial kids.
The “experts” tell me that Twitter is now the Millennial generation’s preferred means of communication between themselves and the world. Texting is so “yesterday”, so don’t try to email your kids and get a response this week. Just as they fled Facebook as their parents and grandparents joined, once we figured out how to text, they felt it was time to move on. All five of my children fall into the Generation Y or Millennial’s category, so if I want to know what’s happening in their lives outside of the holiday dinners, I decided I needed to dive in deep.
After much reading, internet searching and tweeting this week, I’m convinced they have found a way to keep us at bay. The risk that we will master this medium and drive the kids out is very low. Several years ago, I created a Twitter account for business and now have a list of people and companies I follow and some who follow me. I have sent and received many tweets and re-tweets, but this week I thought I’d work to figure out how this generation uses Twitter to connect and communicate. My research reminded me of an experience while in Germany after having taken four years of German class in high School. I made my best effort to order a meal speaking German and the local waiter replied in English, “Thank you for trying, now what can I get you?” I understand the Twitter language, but I can’t speak it.
My impression of Twitter is that millions of people are standing in a room reciting 140 character tidbits of what interests them at that point in time, sometimes with links to photos, videos, articles and blogs referenced in that tweet. “You Gotta see this”, “5 Ways to….”, “What’s with ….”, or “My dog just….” seem to be popular. I visualize a room full of people announcing their topic, looking up at the sky, making no eye contact, wondering who will hear. It reminded me of when I cast a lure into the water with the hope that a big Northern hears it, sees it, and takes a bite. I know this works for fish if you have a good lure, but how does it work with communication?
I’m convinced I’m missing something, so I’ve extended my research deadline by a few more weeks. Ironically this blog will be tweeted in the hope that someone will hear my call for help and send me advice. I don’t plan on ending the project until I figure this out. Why? Because any way I can connect more with my children can’t be bad (until they realize I’m a Twitter master and move on the next medium).
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Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We deliver proactive, objective advice, plans and solutions enabling our clients to reach their unique family goals “.