School for Fools puts older trainees online!

School for Fools (Geniene Preston, Media Guru) has been doing really well and making sure that older people who are traditionally not online, into the future.  A local radio station, 103 Hope FM, has started a series of 5 minute slots to understand and wipe away the cobwebs surrounding this phenomenon.  From November, SA Commuter will start a series of online posts each week to help you become a better social media networking person than . your kids. Its a great way to retire and use a few hours a day posting for companies that do not have the time!

Here is an exerpt of what you can learn!

Hi its 1230 and time for your next lesson in Social Media brought to you by myself, Geniene Preston of School for Fools”

“Social media is often misunderstood and with our lives becoming so busy and fragmented it’s the only place we can share our comings and goings. I am sure you have heard people say, Yes I am on Facebook but I don’t share anything because I don’t want people to know what I am doing. Then that makes you a facebook stalker because you read about everyone elses lives but don’t share your own. Its actually a great place to have coffee with your friends in the morning or if you can’t sleep in the early hours of the morning, there is always someone there even if its on the other end of the world.  I block bad news and and adverts that don’t interest me because if I want to read the news I have the newspaper, I can listen to it on the radio and I can watch it on TV.  Why do I want it on my Facebook page which is my coffee table around which I share the lives of those close to me.

Facebook allows you to create a space that is closed to outsiders and you can decide who you want to have see your posts and share your thoughts. Although a public domain, its also a place that you can monitor who enters it and who doesn’t. Like your home. You make the decision about whom you allow through your gate and to sit around your table. Take me for instance. It’s a great place for friends and selected family. I say selected because I don’t allow my children or friends children onto my page. Why ? Because I often say things that could be misunderstood or one of my friends could post something inappropriate and as an adult I want to be able to have adult conversation with friends.

Twitter is different. Its an open and public platform and although you can block people once they arrive on your door, you cannot have just a select few on your twitter feed. Twitter is intuitive and selects tweets from people based on your lifestyle choices or thoughts.. And I find it an incredibly fun place to be. It allows only 140 characters which is like reading the newspaper headlines on the way to work in the morning. It entices you to want more if that’s what works for you. I use it as a library catalog. Where I want to read more, I click on the read more and go through to the website. Where I am not interested, I simply move on. I get introduced to new people every day from around the world.

A few basic rules about using social media. As in everything, you need to be careful about what you write, how you say it and to whom.  By all means have fun but be very weary of having an opinion that could hurt or harm others. Have fun though with corporate companies who hide behind customer service desks and call centres. Tackle them on these platforms because they can run but they can’t hide.  I don’t allow them to take the conversation off line because the minute they do, the service once again disappears. Keep them on their toes. Don’t be mean, just stick to the point and get them to answer you.  Don’t post photos of your children on Twitter and if your facebook is open, don’t do it there either.  The world is not always a nice place and this could attract the wrong kind of visitor. Not everyone is who they appear to be.  I know each and every person on Facebook but on Twitter, I know only a handful.  Be careful not to post every single minute of every single day.  Especially about your child growing up. Those minute by minute blows of their lives is really for you to enjoy and not to post to your friends.  Be mindful of posting too many photos because people have limited data and want to see all of their friends posts not just yours. In these sessions we will learn how to collage photos and create one photo of many and to create albums which people can choose to go through rather than one photo at a time on facebook.

Be careful to post harmful posts and although pornography is rife on the internet, you can choose to block it off your twitter feed as I do. I report, mute and block any sign of someone trying to invade my space.  I make sure my privacy settings are such on facebook that its almost like the FBI interrogation room to get onto my facebook page.

Facebook and Twitter as well as Instagram and Pinterest can be used for business purposes as well as personal use and here we will learn the difference between the two.  Don’t let facebook and twitter take the place of personal interactions with friends and family but it can help those who are shy and have difficulty interacting.  Don’t be on your phone with social media while having dinner or coffee with friends or family. Its rude and there is no excuse for it.  Selfies also have a time and place and I have a rule. Too many selfie’s and pouts and you are off my list.  Who wants to see photos of you in all situations and poses with a silly pout all the time. Keep those to yourself.

Remember social media is a choice and whatsapp is not.  I keep my whatsapp on because I have children who live overseas. Don’t abuse my data by sending me facebook messages or whatsapp messages that are videos or chain letters.  I won’t be sending them on and I am sure I will live despite the dire warnings issued on those messages.  Don’t create groups that are unnecessary as they are incredibly noisy places and I mute those who insist on putting me on a group and I go and read them when I am good and ready. Not every hour.

Lastly don’t feel the need to respond to a nasty comment or lash out. Social media is a dangerous place to lose your temper and it could affect your job or workplace.  It could also hurt people along the way. Check the dates and validity of posts such as missing children.  Check first to see if they were found and if it’s a reputable post.  Some posts are still going around years later and has no validity anymore.  If you are found to be guilty of misappropriation of information anyone who shared the information is as guilty as the one who started it.

With all this in mind, enjoy the benefits of social media. That it reminds you of people’s birthdays, it shares joys such as births and sadness as in the passing away of friends or their family members.  It’s a great place to share memories and fun quizzes.  Don’t share your game scores. No one cares and its annoying.  But by all means ask those on your gaming list for lives or powerboosts. I have the most fun ever on Facebook and I create pages and groups for my various interests. Next week we learn a little about Facebook and how to setup privacy settings”.

Join us every week for a new update and enjoy the ride!

As a worldwide traveller with an eye for something different, I started Travel Match. This initiative matches the Corporate Buyer or Event co-ordinator/Marketing Manager to not only share experiences with each other during an educational but also opens up a world of different ideas. Venues and activities now have a chance to meet buyers on a social level before getting down to business. I design educationals around fun and intuitive thinking and the Travel Match members love them.