An old fogey already? Adoption of new tools may depend on your own digital age

An Internet cafe in Placencia, Belize. (by Holly Edgell, March 2011)

I consider myself somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to using and understanding social media, apps, the cloud, and a host of new tools. It can be hard to keep up with everything; life in the “digital space” often seems to move at warp speed.

I recently had a conversation with a new professional acquaintance about why people engage with particular social media and eschew others. This got me thinking: there are a few things I’ve opted not to invest time in, simply because I don’t find them rewarding or useful in my life and there are still only 24 hours in a day. Does this make me set in my ways? I am in fact…

…Already an old fogey in this digital age?

Instagram. I like viewing at other people’s vintage-looking snapshots, but I prefer my photos looking as true to life as possible. And I like using Facebook as a repository for my snapshots.

FourSquare. Becoming mayor of a restaurant or park or earning a cartoon-ish badge just don’t do anything for me. I am not even that motivated or jazzed by the idea of getting special offers by checking in at a particular eatery or shop. I do (selectively) check in via Facebook, which brings the inherent reward of knowing my mother and other loved ones like to know where I am at times.

Pinterest. In my late teens I clipped photos of perfume, clothing, cars, and other wish-list items out of magazines. I grew out of this pastime, which is why I think the idea of pinning things I dig by using this medium just doesn’t interest me.

Google+. I am there, but it’s not top of mind when it comes to social networking. My go-to platforms remain Facebook and Twitter, for better or worse. I am intrigued by the possibilities for engagement that the “hangouts” provide, but otherwise Google+ has not hooked me.

Why Facebook and Twitter?

Perhaps it’s as simple as: because they were there first (or at least early). Facebook, though sometimes frustrating, is a one-stop bulletin board cum archive for my life. Most of the people I care about are there, as are many professional contacts. I manage two Facebook Pages (Dateline: Belize and Casa Edgell) and have found great value in participating in Facebook Groups.

A friend of mine calls Twitter her personal news feed, and I like this description. I learn something every day from the articles and tidbits shared by people I follow, and I also enjoy passing on articles and tidbits. I use Twitter to “live blog” and provide updates as I cover stories. I can feel connected by engaging in conversations during times of historical and social moment (e.g. the political conventions, the death of Michael Jackson, the news of the Osama bin Laden takedown).

Twitter is also a great platform for promoting the work of bloggers and journalists, sharing kudos and shout outs for great work or contributions to community life, and information about events and happenings.

Speaking of articles and tidbits…

Here are a few interesting items I ran across this week on Twitter. I labeled them as “Favorites” in order to easily find the posts when I want to refer to them later, You’ll note that most come not from individual people, although that’s not always the case:

@Rocketboom shared an article and info graphic titled “YouTube’s Top 1,000 Channels Reveal An Industry Taking Shape”

@Knightfdn deservedly tooted its own horn in this item “Making local history digital, searchable and accessible.” It’s about a $1 million donation to the Digital Public Library of America.

Follow me on this one: @AEJMC posted an item about how Twitter can enhance the work of news outlets, posted on the Poynter Insitute website. The share is actually an excerpt of an interview of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo by Jeremy Hobson of the American Public Media program MarketplaceHere’s the full segment.

@BurtonBrown shared a funny info graphic called “The 10 Types of Social Media Addicts.” (For the record, I may be a blog referencer).

@FastCoLead pointed me to an article that’s very applicable to the work journalists, especially in the broadcast realm. It’s “Must-Tweet TV: How The Pioneers Of Social Television Turn Viewers Into VIPs”


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