When adults hear the word “Facebook” they think of hours of wasted time between teens talking instead of studying. To many adults Facebook is a euphemism for time waster.
In a similar way, adults really do not understand Twitter. Twitter is seen as a way for teens to hook up or post a micro diary about their daily life.
As any adult what SMS means and you’ll be answered with a shoulder shrug. Ask most adults if you can call your friend in India on Skype, and they’ll ask how much it costs.
Two years ago I was one of those adults. I didn’t know what an RSS, SMS, or FTP meant. This article is intended to help others like myself to understand some of the new language of technology.
Facebook is a social forum where users can post personal information on a profile and invite friends to events. It’s a place to share photos and catch up with friends or stay in contact with friends. Because users reveal private facts about themselves, a user must be careful about who to allow as a contact. In Florida, teachers are not allowed to have a Facebook account. The greatest benefit I have found using Facebook is that adults will learn how to talk to students and not talk down to them.
Twitter is a micro blogging site that allows “tweets” of 149 characters. I have learned how to make my words do double time. The Japanese concept of “ekiben” forces the speaker to say as much as possible in a few words. Ekiben energizes me as the character limit forces me to be creative with my text and style. The limitations on character have forced me to be more creative with my word choice.
As valedictorian, Frederic Galosco was to address a packed graduation audience. Fifteen minutes before his address, Frederic was managing his online business using Twitter. Frederic taught me the power of using Twitter to network and market my information products around the world. That’s hardly kid’s stuff.
Nobel Laureate, Robert Solow observed that when new technology is introduced to an adult population it is used in old ways. Teenagers, however, tend to use the new technology in ways that it wasn’t intended. This is what MIT professor Eric von Hipple called “end-user innovation.”
It’s been my observation that technological change must come from our youth. Adults are too busy and learning how to use Facebook and Twitter comes at a high opportunity cost.
Knowledge of the new social media is necessary for innovation and growth in the world that changes according to Moore’s Law, every seven days. If the terms SMS, FTP, and RSS are unfamiliar to you, perform a Google search to find out what they mean. Then open a Facebook and Twitter account.