News from Grassroots conservatives
12 Jun 2017
A mature reader of our website has sent in this encouragement to ‘oldies’ to begin tweeting.
With the election result we’ve just had, the political parties are already falling over themselves to court youth voters, seemingly eager to bend over backwar to make them happy, any way they can.
(I’m thrilled if a new generation gets into the habit of voting and becomes politically engaged. I hope they listen to sensible and experienced voices for guidance.)
A few years ago temptation somehow got the better of me and I started using Twitter. Old friends still tease me remembering how scathing I was about it, before I tried it out. I protected my identity very guardedly and treated other users with extreme caution. I didn’t understand the medium. I couldn’t judge what I was letting myself in for. I went in as if dipping my little toe in what might be a den of iniquity. I am glad that is how I got started. I needed to be cautious but it has not stopped Twitter becoming a marvellous source of news and info, and most of all, an always available outlet for my point of view.
The imbalance in the national conversation, where older and wiser voices get too little exposure, and younger mistake-making voices are taken deadly seriously, worries me for how we are shaping our country. If more middle aged and older people took to Twitter, the balance in the national conversation would shift the way we need it to. The country would benefit from one of our greatest assets, the brilliance and experience of the mature.
If you are the way I was before I took to Twitter, you may not know that you can shape how you use it to your own precise interests, and steer clear of ugly rude ill informed horrific images and the like. Say a person watches a lot of television. The image which springs to mind might be tasteless time wasting poor quality drivel, one stereotype of television. But it is perfectly possible to watch a great deal of TV and confine it to high minded intelligent good quality serious and entertaining programmes, avoiding every bit of rubbish.
The same can be true of Twitter, except rather like learning to drive, you simply don’t have the skills to do it as you want to at first. So the first several months might be pretty off-putting. Until you learn how to steer away from what you don’t want, you may see stuff or language which appals. But having used it for a few years now, I have the enjoyment of know exactly how to stay amongst the people I like to read, and the satisfaction of seeing that many people read me, more all the time!
I urge you, if you have some inclination or curiosity, to learn how to drive Twitter. Your country needs your good sense. It is an ideal way to dialogue about your precise interests, from the comfort of your sofa with your laptop on your knees. If you need to, enlist the technical skills of a grandchild or someone else who can help you getting registered, choose whether you use your name or a pseudonym, and understand the basics of writing a tweet. You will also be expanding their understanding of different generations and how to make tech suit us. These are useful skills in many walks of life. Some retired women have a special advantage if you typed in your youth. Before long you can tweet faster than the rest of us.
I feel alert engaged and valued. I laugh heartily throughout the day because I’ve found my way to witty wags and see their bon mots as soon as they think of and post them, while we watch the same national events which interest us. From knitting to opera to bird photography to my locality to the fall out of the election, whatever crosses my mind, I can type into Twitter and see if anyone has anything to say about it, or photos to post. There is no charge for being on Twitter, it’s free.
You are thoughtful talented people, I hope we can all hear more from you.
PS. If anyone has the temerity to swear tweeting to you, do what I’ve done, ask them, firmly, not to. I’ve watched some people melt away and others mend their ways, courteously, for me. A delight.
I wish you success letting the wider world hear from you, whichever way you do it!