How to Teach your Gran (or anyone else) to Use Twitter

Posted on Mar 10 2011 - 2:37pm by Robert

It wasn’t that long ago that an older person using a mobile phone or a computer was a bit of a strange sight. Now lots more mature people want to keep up with the latest technological advances and learn about new things they can enjoy.

One of the best things which an older relative can learn to use is Twitter, as this gives them an entertaining way to stay in touch with friends and family from their home, as well as finding out snippets of news and information to keep them entertained. Here are some steps to follow in order to get them started on using this site.

  1. The first thing you will probably need to do for someone like your Gran is make sure that they can enter the site. If they are quite handy on the PC then just adding it to the favourites list is probably enough for them. If they aren’t comfortable with this then you can make Twitter their home page so that they enter straight into it when they log on. Do this by entering into Tools and then Options or Internet Options on their browser. Now all they have to know is how to switch on the computer and open up their browser, so it makes sense to put a browser shortcut in the middle of their screen and leave a big space around it.
  2. You will then need to get them signed up on Twitter. I would choose an easy password for them to remember, so let them choose a word which means something to them (this is a good rule of thumb for most people to be honest). If they have no personal or financial information which they access on other sites with the same password then you could choose to have the computer remember their password for them. When you are signing them up you might want to check whether they are happy to leave in the option for others to find them using their email address, as some older people might be a bit wary about this feature unless you explain it to them.
  3. After this you can get them to choose who they want to follow on the site. You will probably want to start with their email contacts, but you should also point out that some of their favourite stars and companies have their own accounts and post regular updates on them. Do this in the “Who to Follow” part of the site.
  4. Now you can show them how to post their own tweets. Show them how to enter into “What’s happening” and then click “Tweet”. You need to make sure that they know about the 140 character limit. They will probably also want to know how to send direct messages to their contacts.
  5. If your Gran is really hip then you can show her how to use her Twitter on her smart phone as well, by downloading the free app and getting her set up on it using the same password you entered in her computer.

The above steps will work with any person not familiar with Twitter, the steps would be the same but just replace the word Gran with another :-).

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