Grandparents guide to Twitter!

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How do I open a Twitter account? You go to Twitter and follow the instructions.

Do I Twitter on my computer or my mobile? You can do either. There are no extra benefits to using either device to sign up. Most phone platforms will have an app in their relevant platform.

How much personal information do I have to give? It is compulsory that you provide a full name, email address and create a password, anything else you add is down to you. You can hide behind a user name if you want privacy. Also you may opt to have your profile set on ‘private’. You can do this by going to; Settings>Account>Tweet privacy and tick the box. Let’s assume you sign in as @Fred;

It won’t let me do that: why not? That’s because somebody else has already signed in as @Fred. Try @Fred97, but Twitter will probably suggest some alternatives.

OK, so I am now @Fred97. Who will hear me if I Tweet? Nobody, unless you tell them where you are. You can email them, speak to them, and if you know their Twitter username you can tweet them.

I know Gladys is @Gladys43. What do I do? Great, so type in Hi Gladys do you want to follow me on Twitter @gladys53. She will be notified, and she can then click on the tweet and this will take her to your profile and she can then decide to follow you by clicking the ‘Follow’ button. From now on she will see all your tweets on her ‘timeline’.

What is a ‘Profile’? Your profile is effectively an ‘about you’ page. You will have the option to add a profile picture when you first sign up, this can be anything from a picture of yourself to your company logo, you can click on the picture on your profile to change it or add it at any time. Also, you can add a ‘bio’ in which you can put anything from; a little bit about you, your contact details or even your favourite line from a song! Your profile is the place to go if you want to view your list of followers or the people that you follow. It also lists your tweets.

What do I do if I fall out with Gladys and want to stop her getting my tweets? You go to her profile and can block it so you do not see her tweets and she does not get yours.
I want to follow Stephen Fry, because everybody seems to. What do I do? You would type his name into Twitters search bar (located at the top of the page) and as he is well known he is likely to be at the top of the list, you would then follow the same procedure as Gladys did to follow you.

Can I send him a joke I just made up? Yes, you can send him absolutely anything, pictures, video’s and articles for example, however, he’s never guaranteed to reply.

I also want to follow the BBC, Private Eye, Noah and the Whale, and Racing Post. What do I do? Again, you would use Twitters search bar to search for them.

Wow, look at all this stuff that’s arrived. What do I do with it? What you are looking at is your timeline, you can read and reply to any of the tweets on here, ‘retweeting’ and ‘favouriting’ is also a kind gesture towards the tweeter.

Who has time to read all this? What on earth is Twitter for? In the old days, you went looking for the news. Now with social media, the news you want finds you. All you have to do is say what interests you, and it will come to you.

I have been a life-long Spurs supporter; are they on Twitter? Yes, and you will again follow the same procedure to follow them. Often people will make fake/parody accounts for celebrities and football clubs for example, so look for the little blue tick next to their username; this shows the account is verified and therefore authentic.

Hey, here’s a tweet from Gladys saying she thinks Nigel Farage is wonderful. How do I tell her what I think? You are given an option to reply, write it out and press ‘reply’.

So I follow UKIP and if I tweet, will they get my tweet? No, because you are following them but they are not following you. However, if you tag @UKIP in your tweet: ‘I want to know what @UKIP’s policy is on rubbish collection’ they may or may not reply. However, if you don’t put the’@’ sign before ‘UKIP’ they will not directly receive your tweet.

What is a hash tag? It is a catalyst for a conversation: so if you put in #footballtransfers or #andymurray in your tweet for example, anybody who searches #footballtransfers or #andymurray (even if they don’t follow you) will be able to see it and can reply to it.
What are my options when someone tweets me? You have three options; reply, favourite and retweet. To favourite a tweet you would simply click the little yellow star underneath the tweet and this will be listed in your ‘Favourites’ section which is also listed on your profile. You can retweet a tweet in the same way, however, this time clicking the arrows creating a circle. When you retweet somebody’s tweet, that tweet will then appear on all of your follower’s timeline, whether they follow the person that originally tweeted it or not.

I see a tweet from Joe, and I want to tell him I disagree. What do I do? Click on reply and tell him what you think!

I want to find people to follow, what do I do? Again, you can either search for specific people in twitters search bar or alternatively there is a ‘who to follow’ tab which provides a random list of ‘popular’ people, normally high profile celebrities or people involved in major recent events. Also, twitter now provides categories so you can find your favourite singer in the 'Music' category for example.
So what’s the point of Twitter?

  • Gather accurate news quickly
  • Promote your business
  • Interact with friends and family

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