There’s a new phenomenon in town.
I have learned to Tweet.
Now, I don’t say it’s a ‘phenomenon’ in the sense of ‘a remarkable person’ definition, but rather, another part of it – the definition portion that says ‘a remarkable event.’
So, my first tweet definitely was a remarkable event, especially considering it took about five years and many members of my immediate and extended family hounding me to get out of the ice age with my flip phone and join the iPhone universe.
I must admit, it has been fun and – unfortunately – a little addicting.
Some people like to play games on their phone, some watch videos, others check the weather; there’s so much you can do with them. Now that I do have that iPhone, it’s enjoyable to check on baseball or hockey scores, our local temperatures or even if my dad is getting rain in upstate New York, etc., etc.
Not much for the games, yet, but I never ever thought I would be on Twitter so I guess that just means anything is possible.
Colleague Virginia Still helped me set up my own personal Twitter account and also got me logged in to the Escalon Times one so I can tweet out both my own thoughts and any pertinent news/sports information for the paper. We also have Twitter for the Oakdale and Riverbank papers and I will jump on those as soon as I feel comfortable with my tweeting capabilities.
The addicting part for me takes me back to my radio days; it is that instant gratification scenario, when something happens, you put out the info, and people respond. My first tweets were from the season opening football game, Escalon hosting Linden on Aug. 20. In fact, I think the first was actually the day of the game and I just tweeted that it would be happening – the tweet got some likes!
That was really all I needed; I set about tweeting from the game, updating my newfound ‘followers’ with the score by quarters and the final outcome. A couple of the players are now following the Escalon Times too, it just makes sense to utilize all the platforms we have available in this digital age.
My hope is that newspapers will always be here for people to sit with and enjoy turning the pages as they have that cup of coffee but it also is important that we embrace the technology we have to stay connected with our readers at all levels.
Probably the most fun was when I was at the girls volleyball game recently and started tweeting about the scores and the spirited ongoing battle of the student cheering sections. Right after I posted it, it got a like – I suspect it was from one of the kids in that EHS cheering section.
I also went a little crazy when it came to picking who I want to ‘follow’ so I am learning to navigate that landscape and may end up scaling it back a little. It’s easy to see how you can get lost in just scrolling through the various tweets and spend a lot of time commenting and re-tweeting. I will also strive to post some personal tweets on my own account from time to time.
So far, my tweets for the Escalon Times have dealt primarily with sports but I certainly will expand to use it for the news and community events side.
Frankly, it was the Tuesday night, Aug. 17 river bottom fire in Oakdale that got me thinking about it; I could have tweeted about that while I was watching the flames from a vantage point along River Road. With our website and Facebook it was a pretty quick turnaround time to get something posted but, if I was tweeting? Right from the scene.
My brother has an Instagram account that he uses in connection with his work at Bass Pro Shops in Utica, New York so maybe that will be my next venture into online connecting as well. We will see.
Not sure I am ready for anything to do with Tik Tok but at least I am getting a little braver. And who knows, with me now actually tweeting, the sky is the limit.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 847-3021.