Monday, August 30

My CNN.com Interview and Comment Writing

When I checked my Tweetdeck one afternoon, I saw this!

Any 50-or-60-something year old Twitter users out there? Looking for someone who'd chat for a story we're working on.

So, I responded with:

Pick me! Pick me! I'm a passionate twitter user in your age bracket listed.

I then got a tweet with an email address so I wrote…

I am a 50 year old teacher (51 next month) who is devoted, dedicated and delighted by Twitter.  It has refreshed and rejuvenated my teaching career.  Because of Twitter I know have a blog and I've become one of the moderators for a weekly chat called #elemchat.  Through Twitter, I've made friends with fellow teachers all over the world.  I'm even planning a trip to Morocco to visit a new friend I've never met. 

If you are looking for someone who is passionate about Twitter, then I'm your Twitter 50 year old.

The next email was a request for my phone number.  Now, this is where some people would have shut down the whole thing and suspected something shady.  Not me!  I quickly provided my cell number.  What could be the harm?

Five minutes later, the phone rang and I spend about 15 minutes talking to Doug Gross from CNN.com.  See…. it all worked out.  I shared with Gross my reasons for joining Twitter, what it means to me and how it enriches my life.   I think I made him laugh and I also told him to interrupt me at anytime because I can talk forever!  I heard his fingers tapping on a key board while I went on and on.

The next day, my daughter tracked me down to tell me the article was posted on CNN.com.  I asked her if they mentioned me at all and she gleefully said, “MOM!  You’re in the first line and throughout the article.”  Now, in the scope of my life experiences this is not monumental, but it did give me a giggle.  I’ve never been interviewed and I like that I was totally me – overly enthusiastic and very chatty.

Suddenly, I began receiving so many new followers on Twitter that I could barely keep up.  Many people tweeted that they saw the article and enjoyed reading it.  Some tweets were a little creepy, too.  I shared with friends and family that I was interviewed and continued my push to get everyone to understand and join Twitter. 

Granted, I was a little worried about the first sentence of the article where it seems as if I were “bashing” my school. “Nancy Ehrlich was nearing 50 and frustrated, teaching at her small Pennsylvania town's elementary school with colleagues who didn't share her love of technology.”  Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, but for me, it is true.  I wasn’t judging them.  I needed an outlet and found one. (OK… I know I sound defensive here.) Luckily, they don’t follow twitter!  (Also, it does feel a little strange that everyone knows my age as well.)

So for a few days I was a mini-celebrity, which was fun.  Then, I noticed the comments at the bottom of the article.  It made me wonder about people.  As many of you know, I’m a glass-half-full-gal who is frequently accused of being overly optimistic.  I don’t understand why people choose to spew venom in a comment.  I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, but do they have to be so mean?  Some of the comments were so angry that I just wanted to give a great big hug… or a get a restraining order.  Why would people take time out of their lives to write such hostile and distasteful comments?

I’m really glad I’m a teacher.  I don’t think I would do well in the big, bad world.  I spend my days with children who typically smile at me.  When someone does something inappropriate, we talk about it and work toward resolution.  Our days are spent embracing respect and responsibility.

The anonymity of comments seems to give many a free –pass.  Maybe some comment writers were absent from school on the days that stressed expressing yourself appropriately.  Most of the reading I do on-line is written by teachers and they seem to be an enigma in the world of comments.  Teachers are people who share, encourage, inspire and promote one another. 

We may disagree, but we do it with good manners.


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