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Are you a blogger?

"Begin blogging at 80+? Not a lot of people do that! But I did and it has changed my life. Between blogging and the social media a whole new world has opened up. It has proved to be enormous fun and seriously sharpens your interest in what is happening out there. Certainly you never feel lonely once you get into the social media. It really is lovely to be in contact with the world. And so good to feel you have mastered something new. (Have a look at my two blogs about how I learned to blog. So how do we get people to give it a go? Probably the most scary thing is the terminology. To young people it is a natural language to us older folk it is a fog. What does the phrase " just click on it" mean when you have never done it? Click what? What do they mean when the say "Open" ? Maybe it is best to try translating everything into everyday language. The word blog is scary. It is less frightening to be asked if they would like to write a letter! Maybe just suggest sending a picture to someone they know? I started off by asking my tutor "What is a blog?" I really had no idea! Now I know that it is just a piece of writing, a bit like a letter you might write to a pen friend. You might find that will be a good analogy for other older people. Most of them will have had pen friends, someone abroad that you had never met, but to whom you wrote telling them about your life. And they replied with things about theirs. You sent them a photo of your dog and they sent you one of their garden etc. Facebook is essentially a simple version of that, and is perhaps the easiest way to introduce social media.You might get them linked into one of the groups which share pictures of olden days..the "Do you remember this! " groups are great fun. Set one up for them. They can build up confidence to share a story and make a comment whilst slowly getting familiar with the terminology, the keyboard and the screen. Another way to look at Facebook is to ask them if they ever had an autograph album in which friends wrote things and then we all showed each other. You can begin the idea of Friends by getting them to befriend you and each other, and better, their grandchildren. Twitter, can be made easy too. Find a few fun tweets on your site for them to respond to. They can enjoy retweeting and commenting. Setting up your own Twitter ID can be quite exciting. Who are you?.. in a few quirky words.. a fun photo..a name to tweet under. It is so exciting once you begin to get notifications and likes! Not too difficult to ensure that happens. Once they have grasped the use of @ as an address you send to they can tweet each other. Or they can pick a favourite celeb to follow. Key I think is that they look forward to seeing what has arrived for them. It suddenly becomes a reason to get up! Blogging is much harder. Not the blog writing of itself, but the whole set up. You almost certainly have to start by creating the blog for them. Then they can write, anything they like. Though getting a new blog out there and read is not easy. Best if you can arrange in advance that someone will pick it up and respond. Whatever you begin with, people need individual help to develop confidence, though a class does have the advantages of social enjoyment and economy of scale. My class was actually for younger people and I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting them. You might find a school which would like to link with you. Children can be very patient teachers, and it is good for them to have to translate terminology into plain simple English! Most of all getting into any of the social media needs to be an immediately rewarding experience. So co opt your colleagues to act as Friends etc. A major benefit will come if you can get the topics they write about to be positive and ego building. ' The best thing I ever did, ' ' The nicest thing that happened , The thing I am most proud of, What I enjoyed this week....etc. Or get them writing positively and amusingly about other people and life generally. There are some excellent Facebook sites in that vein. If you can tap.their sense of humour they will enjoy contributing to the funny ones too. Anything to make them feel the glow!

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