How would you like to get your PRIME news?PRIME – March 2014
By Debbie Gardner
Dear readers, what's your digital IQ? Do you check you email regularly on your home computer or perhaps, your smartphone?
Have you ever visited the PRIME website, www.primeontheweb.com, to check up on stories you've missed? How about other Internet sites? If so, which ones?
Do you have a Facebook page? Would you visit a PRIME Facebook page if we created one?
Do you regularly access any other type of social media site Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, Google+?
Did I forget one of your favorite sites?
It's time to move PRIME into the digital age, and to try to gauge exactly where we should be to best reach our readers. To do this, for the past few months I've been asking questions such as those above as a part of our monthly Prime Sleuth contest.
If you haven't taken part in the contest, I'm anxious to get your answers to these questions.
Please drop me an email at email@example.com and let me know where you'd like to see PRIME positioned digitally.
Don't worry, your monthly printed edition isn't going away. We just want to make certain we are reaching our readers on whatever platform they prefer to get their PRIME news and information.
I'm looking forward to hearing from a lot of you!
As for us here at PRIME, we're very much a digitally-based office. Most of our news items and calendar events now come to us via email, and we contact sources for our articles by email, text, and Facebook instant message.
Yes, we still get regular (e.g. snail) mail, and a good many of our interviews for stories are conducted either in person or on the telephone, but those phone calls more often than not happen at places other than our desks.
As with so much of the rest of the world, my smartphone is now very much my friend.
I wasn't an easy convert, however. I can remember telling my husband that I didn't need a cell phone, didn't want a cell phone, could do without the electronic intrusion.
Then, as our son Evan grew, our lives got hectic, and it was increasingly important for us as busy parents to be able to contact each other from wherever we were.
When Evan was diagnosed as a Type1 diabetic three years ago, being able to reach each other and him regardless of our surroundings became paramount.
Yes, we are a cell phone family, but that digital leap has meant more than just being connected to each other. Through my smartphone, I now have multiple ways to keep in touch with not just my immediate family, but with far-flung relatives and friends.
I now know what's going on with everyone throughout the year, not just through those annual holiday missives. I love knowing that a cousin's child has scored well at a sporting event, or that it's the birthday or anniversary of a relative whom I rarely see.
If the news is sad, well, I'd rather know than feel sheepish later when I discover I've missed a wake or funeral.
Today, my morning ritual is to assess the day's weather with a quick peek out the window, make a cup of coffee, and check my email, messages, Twitter and Facebook feeds on my phone.
No, I'm not obsessed with my electionic connections. I usually don't look at any of these feeds again until lunchtime, unless I'm expecting a message back from a story contact.
I'll check those feeds again once or twice before bed.
I rarely post anything. This winter it was the occasional picture of the inches and inches of snow on our deck, the results of Evan's gymnastics meets through which we learned one of my husband's cousins was a former gymnast and birthday and anniversary greetings.
Digital connections do broaden our world, and even PRIME's AARP columnist, Linda Fitzgerald, praised them as a way for everyone, elders in particular, to combat the loneliness that seems epidemic in modern society.
If you haven't yet ventured into the digital waters, perhaps it's time to dip a toe in. If you need help, there are people at your local library or senior center who would be glad to help. When you get online, send me an email.
I'll get it in the morning, with my coffee.