Changing Voices in a Digital Age #SilverTakeover

Changing Voices in a Digital Age

Wednesday saw Heritage and Culture Warwickshire run a #SilverTakeover, where a number of their volunteers were invited to ‘take over’ HCW’s social media accounts for the day. The idea was to use volunteers, generally older, who had not used social media before, and introduce them to how Twitter and Facebook in particular could be a useful communication tool for them. The volunteers were a little nervous at first as it was a step into the unknown for most of them, but soon embraced the concept and by the end of the day, some of them were tweeting away and using Facebook like naturals! A couple of them said how they could see how social media could be addictive.

So, it was a pleasure to see them enjoying themselves, bonding, and having fun with something that may have been unfamiliar to them at first. They got some response too from other users and that was exciting. It was a realisation that they weren’t alone out there, and other people were in fact tuning in. There was lots of laughter, lots of interest in all our physical sites, and lots of enthusiasm to share their experiences. It was great to see that what we were doing was relevant to so many, and great that there was such a supportive atmosphere both online and offline.

HCW will be running another #SilverTakeover at the end of February as part of our Warwickshire Bytes project Digital Festival, and the volunteers all seemed keen to have another go, so that says a lot about how much they enjoyed the experience. Hopefully it opens their and others’ eyes to different forms of communication. It’s always struck me how, despite the fact Facebook and Twitter are seen as for the young (or middle aged!), actually they can serve a valuable role in helping other generations communicate with like-minded people with similar interests. The beauty of the internet is that it closes down those geographic and mobility barriers.

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio broadcast live during the afternoon and The Observer newspaper came to take photos of the volunteers.