“You are not going out with that boy unless his parents are driving and that's that. I'm not just Spitting Grits here, young lady!”

. . . My father, John Thomas Cravey, USAF, to me in 1956.

Tweet-Brained: Who's Your Grandma? Part III

Ring. Ring. Ring.

“Hello.”

“Hi. It’s me. Are you busy? Got a minute?”

“No. I’m reading the paper. Did you see the piece on the cows on the interstate? Doesn’t that beat all?”

The answer to the caller’s question, “Got a minute?” is 102 characters and spaces, without the quote marks. This is the stuff of which Twitter is made.

Who cares? The grandmothers and grandfathers out there who haven’t signed on ARE interested; they just may not know it yet. The Spittin’ Grits posts “Who’s Your Grandma, Parts I and II” made the case for getting interested. While there’s also Facebook, MySpace, and many other social sites, Twitter has features of interest to Seniors -- mainly, your grandkids are likely Twitterers. If your grandkids are not yet Twitterers, your kids are, and they Twit about their kids constantly. You can “follow” them, a Twitter word for “be in contact with.” And I could have alerted my contacts, called “Followers,” about the cows on the interstate, which I am not making up.

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I could have tweeted as it happened, like this: Truth: Cows are on 1-59/20, Tuscaloosa, at mile marker 81. Traffic backed up for miles while the round-up goes on. See T-News online.

This tweet is 134 characters and spaces. The max is 140, established when text-messaging was new.

That was Then. . .

Twitter began finding its real power during the U.S. presidential campaign and election; the political events in Iran and then China pretty much sealed this site as relevant, some say amazing. Then multitudes of users got into it and re-invented it.

So, what is Twitter? Well, it’s this cyber-place with a powder blue-turquoise background and a funny looking Bluebird of Happiness as part of the logo. Here’s how it describes itself:

Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices.

In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking world news to updates from friends. See what people are doing right now.

This is NOW. . .

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Twitter made the cover of Time magazine June 15. Writer Steven B. Johnson went so far as to say “Twitter is changing the way we live” and it is “a powerful form of communication.” His view is that the power of Twitter is not what it may have started out as or what it appears to be now, but “the most fascinating thing about Twitter is not what it’s doing to us. It’s what we’re doing to it.”

Remember: It hasn’t been that long since we grandparents wondered why there would ever be any need for going to the trouble to learn E-MAIL. E-mail, of all things. Then the newfangled abilities of CELL PHONES.

Remember: The real motivation for the grands to learn e-mail was to stay in touch with your children, to get pictures, to stay connected.

Now: E-mail is essential in our lives. Blackberries and iPhones are essentials. And think of the wide uses for both: It’s not just “Hi, how are you?” anymore.

Now is the time. The Bluebird of Twitterness is waiting.

First, just go there. Then in the search box, type either “crimson tide” or “#crimsontide” (without the quote marks). See where it takes you. Then try “joannagrits” (no quote marks). Now you choose.

O.K. You’re ready to Sign Up Now. Think about a user name, password, and wording for a profile. Don’t be put off by creating a profile. Here’s mine:

· Name: Joanna Cravey Hutt

 · Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

 · Web: http://spittingri...

 · Bio: Spittin' Grits blog, senior citizen, Southerner, writer, grandmother parenting grandchild

How hard is that? Not.

Now you’ve really come of age.

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