21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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Mobile Connectivity Solutions for Social Media

November 18th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

I love technology and technology loves me. I’m the guy who walks in the room and the computer refuses to do the thing that made you call tech support in the first place. There are more computers than people in my house. I’ve been online longer than most MySpace users have been alive. You would think I have some sort of crazy smart phone, but I don’t. I use a very basic Samsung M300. It’s the free phone you get when you sign up.

Going Mobile

Can you effectively stay connected to social media with a basic cell phone and a generous (unlimited) text messaging plan? Facebook and Twitter have the functionality, but is it still cool, interesting, fun, and effective on a basic phone with a tiny screen and no QWERTY keypad? I’ve set up mobile access to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Follow me and find out how effective it is.

Why am I doing this? Being a dad takes a lot of my time. My computer time is limited. I’m looking for the pebbles and the grains of sand to squeeze between the boulders. Using public transit means waiting and sitting. When I don’t feel like listening to music or watching a video podcast, I can send tweets and check in with Facebook.

Facebook Text Messaging Options

Send Text to 32665 (FBOOK)

What do you want to do? Send Text
Update status is at john’s party
Message msg john smith whats up?
Get profile info srch john smith
Get cell phone # cell john smith
Wall post wall john smith happy bday
Poke poke john smith
Add a friend add john smith
Write a note note this is a mobile note
Comment on your status comment status followup

You don’t even have to type in your friend’s full name to send a message, get profile info, poke, write on their wall. You can type just enough to uniquely identify that person. For example, if I wanted to send a msg to Ernesto Brown, I can just enter “msg ernesto b hey, what’s up brownie?”

You can also set up which notifications go to your phone. Currently, I have messages, pokes, and status updates of a few select friends going to my phone.

Twitter Commands

Send texts to 40404

The offical Twitter Commands can be found in their help pages. Twitter is well-suited for text messaging since your tweets need to be 140 characters or less. You definitely want to fine-tune which events trigger a notification. You will get a LOT of text messages if you don’t pare it down to essential information. I only have direct messages going to my phone for now.

A New Paradigm

Accessing email on my phone is an exercise in frustration, but so far, the mobile versions of Twitter and Facebook have been good to me. If you really need to get in touch with me, sending me messages through Facebook and/or Twitter is, in some cases, more effective than calling, emailing, or instant messaging me.

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Teen Saved From The Pitfalls of Poor Communication Methods

March 11th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Poor Listening SkillsCommunication is central to every relationship. I dare say it’s the foundation. I touched on this briefly in a guest post over at 21st Century Parenting. The article addressed one of my pet peeves – people talking through walls and around corners.

Au-Teen does this all the time. As he’s walking out the door to go hang out with friends, he announces his intention in that sing-songy tone, “I’m going to hang out with Joel for a while.”

In our average sized home, he’s somewhat audible when he does this, but it’s a BAD habit. This isn’t communication. This is a teenage boy flapping his mouth under the assumption he’s been heard.

It almost bit him in the ass this past weekend. He went to the park with his friend Gabe. He announced this as he was walking out the door. I held him up.

“I was talking to mom.”

“No you weren’t. She’s not here. You need to address us face-to-face and get acknowledgment that your message was received. I’ll have none of this talking as you walk out the door crap please. See you later.”

I was more diplomatic in my guest post. We ran out of sugar, so you’re taking this one straight. I absolutely HATE IT when people try to have a conversation through walls and around corners. It’s one of the most annoying things Au-Teen does. Maybe it’s that sing-songy tone. Maybe he tries to weasel his way out of accountability when he’s called out for poor communication.

It’s often said, “pick your battles.” I’ll let him throw his dirty socks on the floor in his bedroom, but this one deserves a parental counter-attack of significant magnitude.

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