Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mom's and Dad's Conversation About Twitter with Our 17 and 21 Year Old Sons

The conversation below regarding Twitter occurred between my wife (Rachelle),  me, and our two boys (ages 17 and 21) while at lunch last Sunday.

Mom: Guys, talk to me about Twitter? What is it? How do you sign up for it?

17 year old: It's a way to keep stay up with people and know what they are doing. It's a free service and you can get download the Twitter software on your phone, computer or I-Pad.

Mom: But isn't Facebook the way people stay in touch with each other?

21 year old: Facebook is for people thirty and older. Twitter is where it's at for the younger generation.

Dad: I have a Twitter account. I can't stand it.

17 year old: What do you mean?Why?

Dad: Because I don't I care about what people are eating, where people are sitting, or what people are thinking about trivial things. And I have zero interest in telling people trivial things about my day either.

21 year old: But it is so cool to be able to read a Tweet from an OU football player or some pro athlete like Kevin Durant and then respond with a tweet of your own. We learned Kevin Durant was at College Corner in Norman last Friday night by reading his Tweet about it.

Mom: But how do you read Kevin Durant's Tweets? Where do you find them?

17 year old: You have to go sign up to follow him on Twitter? He and ohers have tens of thousands of Twitter followers.

Dad: That's just plain silly. Why would someone waste time reading sound bites of famous people that contribute nothing intellectually or historically to conversation?  Tweets are so banal.

17 year old: What's 'banal' mean?

Dad: Banal means trite, obvious, or predictable; when something is banal it is a commonplace thing. Again,  I have no interest where people are eating lunch and I'm definitely not interested in telling people where I'm eating lunch.

21 year old: But sometimes you can learn something from someone before anybody else knows about it. A couple of the OU football players Tweeted that they had been cleared from injury to play on Saturday and those who followed them on Twitter knew before even the press knew.

Dad: How? If you are following someone and they Tweet something new, how do you know they Tweeted? I am at work. I'm writing. I'm doing things. How do I know instantaneously that someone I'm following on Twitter has posted?

21 year old: You program Twitter to "Beep" your phone or your computer when someone you are following Tweets something new.

Dad: You've got to be kidding. My phone goes off a million times a day with emails, phone calls and appointment alerts. There's no way under the sun I want it going off to report to me that somebody is drinking coffee at Starbucks.

Mom: If I signed up for Twitter how do I find other people who have Twitter?

17 year old: You do a search and find different people and then ask to "follow them" on Twitter.

Mom: But then do people ask to follow me on Twitter?

17 year old: It depends on whether or not people are interested in following you on Twitter?

Mom: But why would anybody be interested in following me or anyone else on Twitter?

Dad: That's my point.

21 year old: You guys are too old to understand.

My son may have a point. Laughing.


Bob Cleveland said...

As I believe I heard said, once: Never have so many with so little to say, said to much to so many.

Wade Burleson said...

Brilliant, Bob!

I wholeheartedly agree!

Anonymous said...

"Dad: Because I don't I care about what people are eating, where people are sitting, or what people are thinking about trivial things. And I have zero interest in telling people trivial things about my day either."

Thank you, Dad. My sentiments exactly.

IMHO, Facebook is only a few steps up on the banal ladder rung from twitter in the "people magazine" communication category.

Good one Bob. How about this: John Wayne once said 'they are spittin out words to see where they splatter'


Anonymous said...

Let's not be too quick to dismiss Twitter. At age 63 I thought I would NEVER start texting. However, with my new evo smart phone, I now text more than I talk. Twitter is just another way to communicate. The content of the message is strickly up to the twit who tweets.

Anonymous said...

I'm 51 and have a twitter account and a blogger account but no facebook account. You can tell a great deal about what someone thinks is important by what they tweet. You do not have to reply and only follow those who have wiser post. Twitter does reveal the heart. Just look at Pastor's tweets.

Anonymous said...

The best tweeters to hear are birds.

But one man’s delight is another man’s poison.

Better yet: Jesus plus nothing equals everything.

Rex Ray

Anonymous said...


That's a good saying! You should post that in a tweet.

B Nettles said...

@Wade, @BNettles has 2 $10 Starbuck cards. Come c me in J, TN. I'll buy coffee 4 u.

Sarah said...

Hilarious. I'm behind the times in my generation because I refuse to get a Twitter account. I only got texting on my phone yesterday for the first time ever. Twitter seems like an unnecessary waste of time to me (unlike the "necessary" waste of time I spend on Facebook! Ha!). I guess I'm too old to understand, too.

Bob Cleveland said...

TWITTER: When blogging, landlines, cell phones, email, snailmail, text messaging, telegraphing, YouTube, and simply talking just aren't enough.

Anonymous said...

I get what your sons are talking about. Its neat to get to tweet back and for with celebs. Course you pastor wade probably get to meet a lot of famous people. Some of us though, we’re not so lucky. So for some of us, getting tweets back from big names like Jeri Ryan (Star Trek Voyager – Seven of Nine/Body of Proof), Kristen Chenoweth (Broadway Actress - Wicked), Jami Smith (Christian Singer), Angie Harmon (Rizzoli and Isles)...its pretty cool.
And I have said a number of times on my own twitter that only through twitter can I tweet with a celeb. make-up Artist who does/has done make-up on some of the biggest names in the TV Drama/Comedy. She was one of the make-up artists for the cast of “Heroes” and now working with the cast of “Chuck”. And besides, I’ve had fun tweeting back and forth with Jami every once in a while. Also it was through Twitter that I first learned that the most decorated gymnast in history, Oklahoma’s very own Shannon Miller had gotten caner. And that cancer is not a respecter of persons, that it can strike anyone, rich or poor, famous or not, course not that I didn’t already know that.
There is a difference between Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is the way to keep up with what family and friends are doing. Twitter is more of the place to keep up with larger names, celebs and public figures, and what going on (sometimes up-to-the-minute news). And no, Facebook isn't just for 30s and older. My 13 year old niece and all her friends at school have facebook. And I know some 40 and 50 year olds who have twitter, so its funny what your boy said about twitter being for the younger generation, but it is simply incorrect. Shoot even Ed Asner has a twitter account. I think he's far beyond the age of twenty.
Course there are some good uses to twitter besides just where someone has been, or what they are eating. You remember that Joplin Tornado?? Like a week or so before hand Oklahoma had a ring of storms roll through that had tornadoes. At the time I followed most of all of KFOR news anchors only...anyway, while in the basement library at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma, I was able to stay informed on where the tornadoes were at and what was going on. Its a big basement, several rooms, and the radio wasn't very loud. So many people had no idea where the tornadoes were at. I did, cause the kfor news anchors were all tweeting about it as well as talking about it on TV. Course now most the news anchors on 4,5 and 9 plus fox25 all have twitters (which I follow half).
Did you know that a number of News anchors have their phones on them while on the air, and when they cut to a news story or commercial break, they are tweeting and checking their tweets?? This is according to Jamie Cerretta on Fox25. She, Liz and I were tweeting (They were explaining, I was learning something new)about what they do when the camera is not on them and when they go to commercial breaks. Jamie has said there are times when she’s got her phone just outside the shot in her hand. I think it was Ali Meyer who got put on probation from using her phone cause she got caught on the air with it tweeting. Guess every TV station is different on their views of phone use.
And when the major earthquake happened in Japan, my twitter account blewup over what was going on there, cause most every big name I followed were all tweeting about it, sharing videos, pictures, links to news happenings. And there is this one lady who had basically dedicated her twitter account for spreading awareness of "Truckers Against Trafficking". Helping get out the word that sometimes truckers could be the difference between young girls being set free or not who got caught up in human sex trafficking by calling a national hotline.
And a number of people from some church got together during Christmas and Easter and helped put two of the most famous stories ever told into the twenty first century form in that, what if some of the major “Actors” of those stories had twitter?
(Continued from T.)

Anonymous said...

(Continued from T.)
But I get where Rachelle is coming from, cause I’ve basically asked the same question. “Who would want to follow a 27 year old nobody from Oklahoma? I’m not famous, I’m not an actor, writer, singer, or Pastor. Currently I’m just some gal working in the Edmond public school system working as a “Lunch Lady”, nothing interesting there (“I’m not that impressive” as Lecrae says in “Background”). But Abigail Ogle (yeah news reporter) responded “You’re not a ‘Nobody’ you are someone.” I’m still not sure why 120 of those people are following me, but hey whatever.
And to expand a little on what your 21 year old mentioned about your phone beeping from tweets. You don’t actually get tweet notifications on your phone unless you go to that particular person’s twitter account that you follow and click a button that says “Receive tweets via text message.” It doesn’t automatically start texting your phone the moment you sign up with twitter. I use that sparingly. I only have like three people I follow out of 400+ that I have their tweets set on a notification to text my phone. Jo Dee Messina (My fav. Country Singer – Bring on the Rain/Heaven was Needing a Hero/My Give a Damns Busted), Mariska Hargitay (my favorite actress - LO SVU), and Nancy Alcorn (Founder of Mercy Ministries of America) are the only people I have used that twitter application with. I didn’t want my phone to explode with lots of tweets from every person I follow….my phone would probably have a nervous breakdown if I did.
But here’s something I will put out there for ya to think about. Churches and pastors are always taking about getting out there and reaching the lost. In the past, they talked about it, but I’m sure when change came in they were resistant to it. When the radio first came out, I wonder how many pastors dismissed using it at first. Now lots of pastors have their sermons also broadcasted on the radio. Then came TV; how many resisted using it as a means to reach people? Now, both TV and radio are really taken for granted that its always there (as long as bills are paid) and many pastors and Christian speakers use both to reach people. Following TV came the internet. Heaven forbid one uses the internet because its secular and mainstream and nothing good can come from the internet. Now many churches, pastors and speakers have websites, blogs, and have their sermons broadcasted on the internet. In fact when I was working at a past job back in January, I laughed so hard when I passed a church on my way to work that had this on their big sign outside the church: “We are NOW on Facebook”. That was all it said on their sign.
First it was Myspace, then Facebook and now Twitter. And I notice that a lot of people in the “religious groups” joining Twitter, including the one church that makes me so very angry. Given that I’m an Air Force Brat…well, I’m sure you can understand why I’m angry with that church. I learned through Pauley Perrette’s tweets that this church that protests lots of things, their members have been following her and other #NCIS people and their friends because they all support “the Gay Rights movement” and in short harassing them over their choice of support (No surprise there). But then there are people like Max Lucado, Nancy Alcorn, Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine, John Maxwell who also have joined twitter, who are trying to reach people via twitter and encouraging believers with scripture.
So Twitter is basically what you make it to be. You could use it for just one type of tweeting, or tweeting on a huge range of subjects or not use it at all. Course by your post and your thoughts on twitter…I’ll give up checking every once in a while to see if you’ve gotten a twitter account yet. Course if Rachelle decides on getting one, this former EBC gal would follow. #JustSaying (:

Anonymous said...

(Continued from T. - extra bit) Also its only through twitter that you can get a birthday retweet from one of your fav. actresses and an actress you've watched since you were a kid. (Sasha Alexander - NCIS,Rizzoli and Isles/Melissa Joan Hart - Clarissa Explains It All). You may not find that cool, but some of us do. (: said...


You should blog!


Valid points, all!

Or as Agrippa might say, "Thou almost persuadest me to be a Tweeter."

Anonymous said...

Nah, I tried blogging, did blog for a little bit, but lost interest in it. Now I use facebook/twitter. But I will say, with the use of (and other applications like it)sometimes some posts seem like blog posts. Lots of people can't contain their thoughts in 140 characters (like myself). This restriction on characters might have been one source of your frustration with Twitter. I know as a fan of Reba McEntire's it was also frustrating because you would be going along reading her thoughts and they just seemed like her thought just ran off the side of a cliff. But she and other stars are getting the hang of Twitlonger. Like I said, with applications like and the like, its getting better. (:
I guess I'll have to stick with almost. Some of my friends say that about twitter... "you almost got me there, just not there yet." Its like that common phrase people toss out sometimes. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink".
But here's a link if you or Rachelle do want to think about getting into the twitterverse (Twitter Universe): = Twitter 101. Its like a manuel/instruction page. And like so many people say "Sometimes it helps to read the instructions." And if need be, don't be afraid to ask for help. I'm sure if Kellie Martin (Christy/Face on the Milk Carton) can ask help from her fans on how to work twitter, sure anyone can ask for help. If you dont' want to, you don't have to be on twitter EVERYDAY (which may be a misconception some people have). Some stars I follow post every day (even many times a day) Roma Downy (Touched by an Angel) and Ice-T (Rapper/LO SVU) post a lot. Others tweet every once in a while, maybe even months go by at a time between tweets. Like Sean Murray (NCIS) and Whoopi Goldberg. But if you decide Twitter's not for you, don't worry, you won't be the only one in the whole world who doesn't have it. (: Its one of those, "Whatever floats your boat or sinks it" type thing.

Anonymous said...

Let's not be too quick to dismiss Twitter. At age 63 I thought I would NEVER start texting. However, with my new evo smart phone, I now text more than I talk. Twitter is just another way to communicate. The content of the message is strickly up to the twit who tweets.

Fri Oct 28, 06:06:00 AM 2011

Texting and twittering are not the same at all. I text all the time and I am older, too. I prefer it to talking on the phone.

Twitter is to gain followers. It is not a conversation exchange.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I disagree, but again like I said, you can use Twitter however you like. I'm not into gaining followers and its not the reason I'm using twitter. And yes it can be a conversation exchange or information relay. Like mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not sure why I've got over 120 people following me. I didn't go out and say "Follow me" like many people do. Now with stars and big names, its quite expected that they will gain a large following (fans), but for someone from Oklahoma, it puzzles me sometimes why I have more than 10 people following me. As far as conversation goes, you actually can have a conversation on twitter. I mean they may not be long (and it may take a few days for each response - especially if you are tweeting back and forth with a big name actor/actress). Sometimes you might have to rethink the term "Communication". Twitter is like a "Step-outside-the-box" type way of communicating. Some people can have 2 and 3 hours of conversaton face to face and call it a conversation. Where as other people could talk to each for two minutes over the phone and also call it a conversation. It just depends on what your definition of "Communication" is. But if we have to limit it to phone conversations, please give me Jeri Ryan's phone number and I'll hop off twitter and talk to her by phone. (-; Until then I'll have to stick with talking with her via twitter.

Anonymous said...

Course it was Pastor Wade who shared a funny story years ago in church that I remember somewhat (though not exactly word for word). It was about three boys sitting in a school yard talking about what their dads can do with words. One boy's father scribbled words and called it a poem, the next one's dad scribbled words and called it a song. The last boy's father scribbled words and called it a sermon. Each father scribbled down words and they each called it something different. The first one lasted maybe a minute (to be spoken) the next was probably three minutes long (many songs are only 2-3 minutes long). And the last probably lasted anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours (depending on the pastor/religion). Each father communicated, just in different ways. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Example in communicating on twitter. Two girls tweeting back and forth over the fact of a website where fans can make pages about people they like. the first girl (Girl 1) thinks the second girl (Girl 2) could make a better fan page of the star Dana Delany (Despereate Housewife/Body of Proof) than what is already there. (The @ means that they are being referred to/mentioning) :
@Girl 2 hey just worked on squidoo and thought ur a huge fan of @DanaDelany ,have u thought about making a Squidoo page for her?

@Girl 2 there are two of @DanaDelany already...but i wonder... if u could make a lens much more informative, and more real... #JustThought

@Girl 1 @danadelany > account. I would be willing to start one up though if someone else wanted to run it. :) Thanks for the idea!

@Girl 1 @danadelany I actually started a Facebook page not to long ago & found it nearly impossible to manage that & the danimals>

@Girl 2 you don't have to manage this on a daily basis. I have a fwe myself, that I don't up regularly... was just a thought @danadelany

@Girl 2 its just like a page on @danadelany and I don't think anyone else but a true die-hard fan could do a star justice.

@Girl 1 lol well I do admire @danadelany quite a bit! ;) TY for thinking of me. You'll have to teach me about Squidoo. never used it.

So you see, you can actually communicate on twitter. (Twitter user names were substitued for Girl 1/2) #JustSaying


Anonymous said...

Another example of Twitter communication:

saw this: and thought of @DanaDelany , @JeriLRyan , and #NicholasBishop (-: last @BodyOfProofABC epi

@Twilightseven ha!

@JeriLRyan so u putting out the dead girl candle on ur table and making the body part bread in ur oven 4 guests????

@Twilightseven I wish!!

so yes, you can communicate on just have to think outside the box on how to do it.


Anonymous said...

i'd bet money that replies from celeb tweets dont go to them but somehere else in cyberspace.

Tom Rich said...

Wade - too funny! Two weeks ago, my two sons and I had lunch with my dad, their grandfather, and we had nearly the same conversation!

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. The 2 proplr were having a "conversation" on twitter yet all their twitter followers read it?

Anonymous said...

no not all the twitter followers read it. only the people who follow both accounts can read both responses... if you put "@" (user name) in front of ur tweet...only the person u are replying to reads it...

Anonymous said...

I thought of you when I saw this on the news this morning. I guess famous people do Twitter with just regular people...and sometimes that leads to playing flag football with Kevin Durant! What a memory for those college guys at OSU! :)

Anonymous said...

okay last night was a perfect example to have twitter...if nothing else to follow your news peeps. Was half way alseep last night (Nov. 5th), well all of a sudden my whole room shifts sideways. For someone who's never been awake during the rest of the tiny earthquakes that happens in Oklahoma, its really quite freaky. I pulled up twitter to tweet about what I just felt and all the news anchors who were awake were all tweeting that Oklahoma just got rattled by a 5.2 earthquake. I know its a dead horse here, but I thought I'd point out now and days...the first place news reporters are posting news is no longer on tv. That has kind of become second to twitter and facebook. JSYK.

(Continued from T.)

Anonymous said...

(Continued from T. - Twitter posts about the earthquake)

AndrewSpeno (Fox 25 – posted 10:54pm)

AbigailOgle (KFOR – posted 10:54pm)
Another earthquake!!!!!!!! Right now!!!!!!

JoleenChaney (KFOR – posted 10:54pm)
Earthquake!!!!!!!!!!! Again!!!!! Emily and I are sitting in our kitchen floor!! (that’s @emilyrsutton)

lancewest (KFOR – posted 10:55pm)
Wow. That's the first Oklahoma quake this California kid has felt. Had to be a 5-plus. #shakerattleroll

JenniferNews9 Jennifer Pierce (News 9 – posted 10:55pm)
Wow another quake!!!

tornadopayne David Payne (KFOR – posted 10:58pm)
Just had another major earthquake here in central Okla.... #fb

AbigailOgle (KFOR – posted 10:59pm)
Are we on a fault line? Why does this keep happening?

emilyrsutton (KFOR – posted 11:00pm)
Ahhh! That was more than a minute!

AbigailOgle (KFOR – posted 11:02pm)
That was terrifying! And they are getting progressively worse... Quickly.

CEckertNews9 Christina Eckert (News9- posted 11:05pm)
Usgs says 5.2 centered east of sparks and nw of Prague... Definitely bigger than this morning!

tornadopayne David Payne (KFOR – posted 11:06pm)
USGS saying the earthquake a few minutes ago was a mag 5.2! 45 miles east of OKC... #fb

AndrewSpeno (Fox 25 – posted 11:07pm)
The quake was a magnitude 5.2. The epicenter was near Sparks, OK.

(continued from T.)

Anonymous said...

tornadopayne David Payne (KFOR – posted 11:08pm)
5.2 mag is the preliminary... Could be higher.... the largest quake recorded in OK was A 5.5 in 1952. #fb

emilyrsutton (KFOR – posted 11:09pm)
Initial USGS reports of a 5.2 magnitude earthquake. Did you feel it? #okquake2

tornadopayne David Payne (KFOR – posted 11:11pm)
Anyone have any quake damage? #fb

CEckertNews9 Christina Eckert (News9- posted 11:12pm)
So if this was stronger... Is this a separate earthquake... An aftershock or are they building up???

@gmannews: Hey @lancewest What's going on out there? You guys ok? #earthquake #Oklahoma” // 5.2 quake Rattled the house for 45 seconds (posted 11:15pm)

SchambachJess Jessica Schambach (KOCO – posted 11:17pm)
Wow! That was the first earthquake I've felt. 5.2 magnitude. Did you have any damage?

emilyrsutton (KFOR – posted 11:27pm)
New initial report of 5.6...making this the strongest quake in Oklahoma history. #okquake2

SchambachJess Jessica Schambach (KOCO – posted 11:29pm)
Just upgraded. 5.6. Largest in OK history.

CEckertNews9 Christina Eckert (News9- posted 11:31pm)
Looks like usgs is now saying it was a 5.6 which would make it the largest earthquake in ok history!

JoleenChaney (KFOR – posted 11:45pm)
So...earthquake was a 5.6. The strongest in Oklahoma yet!

GigiGraciette Gigi Graciette (LA News reporter – posted 12:14am)
BREAKING: 5.6 #EARTHQUAKE in Oklahoma. Largest quake in state's history; reportedly felt in IL, TX, KS and AR.

GigiGraciette (La News Reporter – posted 12:31am)
RT @KrisKetz @GigiGraciette Our KMBC FB/Twitter pages were blowing up not to mention e-mails/phone calls. We all felt it in Kansas City

See, another good reason to have Twitter. (sometimes u get news right as/after it happens.)


Curt Castillo said...

I about fell out of my chair laughing as I read this. my 18 year old daughter "tweets" and I have thought the same thing as you "who cares about what I am eating", etc. That said twitter did allow for an anonymous OSU student to become friends with KD! They talk on the phone according to the student. Wade, I say you begin actively tweeting so I can know when you are at "Gameday" screaming Boomer Sooner! I expect to look for you at this years Bedlam!