By, Lucero Uribe – Editor in Chief of Nuverz Advice and Silvernest Contributing Blogger
It’s Really Hard to Keep Up.
Technology is relentless. And lately it seems to change even faster than before. For those of us that started using communication tools early (remember ICQ?), it appears that nothing from those days is relevant anymore. For those just coming into the world of web and messaging, and Twitter, and Facebook Live and Snapchat, the pace seems even more daunting. Yet that’s where most young people hang out today and most days, that’s where we need to be to keep up with their lives.
Mastering a Few Features Makes a Big Difference
Most people give up for the best of reasons: it’s impossible to keep up with every social media platform. It would be more like a full-time job. Yet, there are a few features in many of the platforms that are worth keeping an eye on. They can make Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat a whole lot easier.
1. Enjoy Facebook Live
Most of us know Facebook. We post our pictures and update people about our lives, while our friends and family do the same, giving us the chance to keep up with their comings and goings. But now Facebook introduced Live, a feature that allows you to post or watch a live, real-time video from a cell phone. When your granddaughter is posting a video from a soccer game at 2 pm, she is actually recording from her phone and posting directly to her wall (the video will stay in her wall). You can broadcast your own special moments as well by going to the Facebook App on your phone: Tap the Status button at the top of your Timeline, News Feed or Page. Then tap the button that looks like a person with a broadcast signal around their head. You can write an optional description for your broadcast. Then tap Go Live to begin your broadcast.
2. Instagram from your Computer
Odds are all your grandchildren are posting like crazy on Instagram. This platform works a lot like Facebook, except for two big differences: it’s only about pictures and you can only post photographs from the App (which you have to download) on a smartphone. If you don’t have a smartphone or you don’t want to deal with Apps, you can still follow people from a computer. Go to Instagram.com and sign up. Find out your family and friends’ Instagram usernames and start following them. Their photos will appear in your wall just as if you were using Facebook. You won’t be able to take your own photographs or post them unless you use the App from a smartphone, but you can follow anyone you’d like.
3. Instagram and Twitter #Hashtags
Like Facebook, both Instagram and Twitter use feeds or walls. People post their words and pictures, or in the case of Instagram just their pictures, on their feeds. As in Facebook, you can see people’s tweets and pictures in your wall by “following” them, but there is another way to organize what Instagram and Twitter show you at any moment–using Hashtags. When someone writes a tweet or posts a picture on Instagram, they will typically add a hashtag with a word like #Miami or #Hamilton or #Debate. If you type #Miami in the search box , every single picture that has been tagged with that Hashtag will appear in your feed, same for tweets. People going to the musical Hamilton or who want to comment on it will use that Hashtag, or people watching a presidential debate and making comments as it happens will use #Debate. It could be as specific as the #JonesThanksgiving to gather all posts or all photographs from the Jones’ gathering.
4. Responding on Twitter
Whether you want to send some very public good wishes to someone graduating or traveling or put someone you don’t agree with in their place, the steps are the same. Write your message and place the user’s @username in the body of the tweet. If you place it before any other word, the message will live in the user’s ‘tweets and replies’ column–a little more private, but still public. If you place it after the first word, as in “Congrats Ruby @RubyCalamacaro”, the message will show up in their main feed. Keep in mind that either way, the message will be very public.
5. Getting Snaps on Snapchat
Someone wants to send you pictures and videos, otherwise known as Snaps, via Snapchat. Easy. You’ll need a smartphone, and then you’ll need to download the App and register for an account. Once you’ve done so, you’ll need to send your username to anyone you want to receive videos and photos from. When they compose a message they’ll need to add you to the recipient list, either by yourself, because it’s intended only for you, or as part of a group. Keep in mind that as soon as you see the picture or video it will be deleted and there is no way to save it.
Lucero Uribe, is the Editor in Chief of Nuverz Advice, a site that provides expert advice on how to live longer, independently, and well, and that is focused on finding the best resources, ideas, and strategies for independent living and aging-in-place. *This article was previously published in Nuverz Advice.
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