Do you have an iPad?

Jessica Levco

My phone isn’t smart. Online banking? Bah. I regularly consult my phone book when I’m looking up an address.

This is not an exaggeration. I just happen to function like an 82-year-old, trapped in a millennial body.

So, imagine how my entire life changed when I got an iPad.

My friends were just as shocked as I was.

“You’re one of them?!”

And if they meant those really cool people in iPad commercials—then yes, yes I was one of them.

For the first time in my adult life, I’m on the cutting-edge of 21st Century. And I’ve never been on the cutting-edge of anything.

But after days of trying new recipes, playing Scrabble and zoning out on Hulu—I wondered, “Do any communicators actually use this thing for work?”

Well, they do. Here’s what a few of them said:

EverNote

Joshua Duvauchelle, an associate editor and freelance consultant, says he ditched carrying around his spiral-bound notebook for EverNote. This allows him to jot down story ideas or business plans on his computer or mobile phone.

“It automatically syncs the note across my account, so I see the same thing whether I’m on my phone or sitting at my laptop,” Duvauchelle says. “And it’s not just for taking notes. For example, I can take photos on my phone’s camera or screenshots of my browser for future reference while writing a story.”

iTranslate

Randell Heath of Coldsweep, Inc. says that his Chinese-born son-in-law’s parents visited his family for Christmas last year. The iPad started a conversation.

“Using two iPads and an app called iTranslate, I was able to have a meaningful conversation with them even though I do not speak Chinese and they do not speak English,” Heath says.  “How is that for communicating?”

Flipboard

“I absolutely can’t live without Flipboard for tracking what my social media circles are publishing, posting and reporting,” Leigh Ann Dufurrena, of Red Sky Public Relations says. “It’s a killer iPad app.”

TableTopics

Natalia Seidel of Arieff Communications says she uses TableTopics to break the ice and start conversations with her clients.

Here are some examples from TableTopics:

Starter Set: What moment changed the way you look at life?
Happy Hour: What was the craziest thing you ever did when you were a kid?
Gourmet: For what recipe are you known?
Green: Would you spend two hours daily on an exercise bike if you could power your house?
InFlight: Who would you want to be your partner in a race around the world?

Sidebar: 5 ways to incorporate the iPad to your lifestyle:

Your fingers will be sore. I took an Excedrin for my pinkie finger. Look into buying an attachable keyboard.

Go to sleep. Don’t check the CNN app at 3 a.m. for breaking news. We promise—the news will still be there in the morning.

Don’t be a show-off. Just because you love your new gadget, doesn’t mean all your friends or co-workers will feel the same way. Avoid dancing with it out in public, too.

Turn it off. You stare at a computer screen for eight hours each day. Do you really want to go home and look at another screen? Give your eyes a break.

Stop feeling guilty. You can’t possibly watch every TED conference or try all the low-sodium meals on the Whole Foods app. Sometimes, it’s just easier to play AngryBirds. And that’s OK.

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7 ways millennials use social media to communicate

Ryan  Bradley Thompson is the lead social marketing strategist at Mark Travel Corporation. He loves to bike, read, write, and play music in bands.

“How millennial are you?”

This was a question I asked myself a few days ago when Ragan’s Millennial Mafia asked me to write a guest post for them. Given the fact that I was just outside of the traditional metric of a millennial (someone who was born “after 1980”), I wasn’t sure I could represent a millennial’s perspective.

But after taking the Pew Research Center quiz, I found out that I’m 85 percent millennial.

And according to Wikipedia, I still might qualify:

As there are no precise dates for when the Millennial generation starts and ends, commentators have used birth dates ranging somewhere from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s.

Ha!

Well, not only did I just shave a generation off my life, but I’m no longer a pencil-pushing Gen Xer. After all, I am 85% millennial, right?

Well sort of…

While I can’t go back and experience my teen years and early twenties again, I do communicate with the mindset of a millennial.

Here’s how:

  1. Texting. It’s quick and easy. I love it. SMS, MMS, Y-E-S. Beats a phone call 99 times out 100.
  2. Twitter. It’s social savvy and full of digital natives like myself. I’ve tweeted with some of my favorite people and some of them have written back.
  3. Facebook. As a social marketing professional, I use Facebook on the job, but also personally. Facebook is my phone book, my rolodex, and a walled garden of content and goodness—filled with my friends and rich online experiences.
  4. Email. I receive about 300 emails a day, plus hundreds of RSS feeds. HINT: You can replace Gmail ads with social profiles and a Firefox install called Rapportive.
  5. iPad. This is all about the user experience. I use apps such as Zite and Flipboard for nearly everything. And if I like a story I read, I don’t think twice about sharing it with friends.
  6. Face to Face. This is the best and most rewarding way to communicate with people. However, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for it. (Tear.)
  7. Phone. On a night that I’m not going out, it’s great to call a friend and catch up. But I probably already know what he or she is up to, since I just checked their Facebook status on my smartphone.