The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, March 9, 2015

The Fun Frenzy of a Twitter Chat



      By this time many of you are undoubtedly on Twitter.  You may or may not have found the advantage of being on Twitter and if you're like me you might still be experimenting with this social media site to see what can be done with it.  I might never figure out the absolute usefulness of Twitter, but for now I have some fun with it when I can.   One interesting Twitter activity is the "chat".

      A Twitter chat is something that can absolutely make your head spin as you're getting accustomed to it.   Think of it as a bunch of people talking all at once and you have to keep track of as many conversations as you can and respond to the parts that pertain to you or interest you the most.  In this scenario, instead of conversing aurally, the conversations are all written back and forth so that everything is in a combination of delayed time and thinking ahead to what you're going to type and send next.  This is conversation that can really keep you on your toes and get you lost if you're not staying on top of it all.
TweetDeck
TweetDeck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       If you've never followed a Twitter chat I don't recommend doing it on your regular Twitter feed.  I did that the first time and ended up all over the place unable to add anything of my own into the conversation.  Then I started using Tweetdeck, a site for organizing your Twitter streams into manageable columns such as notifications and various hashtags which act as labels for an ongoing chat.  There are a number of these social media dashboard sites that will manage what you want to see on the Twitter feeds.  My recommendation is to do your own Google search to find the one that suits your needs the best.

       Want to see what I'm alluding to in this post?   I'm not going to go into the details of explaining how a chat works, but instead I recommend that you check one out for yourself.  What better way than dropping in on one of the A to Z Challenge chats?    These occur every Thursday at 1 PM and 8 PM Eastern Time.   The hashtags you will look for are #AZChat and #AtoZChallenge.

        You'll almost always see some sporadic activity with these hashtag labels, but things really break loose when the chat times come.  This is the time to ask questions, share your blog links, and meet others in the A to Z community.  And to keep the conversations going, the A to Z hosts will periodically put up their own questions as conversation prompts.   There is never a dull moment during the A to Z Chats.

         Try it this coming Thursday to see what it's all about.  Grab a coffee, a glass of wine, your water bottle, or whatever you'd like and sit in to talk to the group about your A to Z thoughts.  You can even just sit in and read if you'd prefer, but once you get into that rhythm of the chatter you will probably want to jump in with your own things to say.

        It's great fun and it's informative too.  Need blog or twitter followers?  Start with an A to Z Chat so you can find like minded folks who you'll enjoy mingling with.   After all, the community is one of the main benefits of A to Z.  The A to Z chats are another way to enjoy that community a bit more.

        Drop in this Thursday to see what I'm talking about.   We'll be looking for you  so be sure to at least say "hello".

         Are you signed up on Twitter?  If not, why not?  Have you participated in a Twitter chat?   If so tell us about the experience you had.  


78 comments:

  1. I was on Twitter years ago but couldn't get the hang of it. perhaps I should try again for the sake of A to Z.

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    1. It's not overly difficult, just odd to get used to at first..

      Lee

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  2. I should be able to join in this Thursday.
    Outside of the A to Z chats, I've done several, and they are confusing sometimes. Of course, if you forget to use the hashtag, you get lost quickly.

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    1. The hashtag is essential. Hope to see you at the next one. I should be able to make the daytime one. Less sure about the evening chat.

      Lee

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  3. Sounds like fun. However - I have decided to be an old fuddy duddy and skip out on some social media and twitter is one for the most part. I have an account and I may read one night. I just can't get what all the fuss is about.

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    1. I think Twitter is the one social media outlet that requires the least attention and yet you can keep it easily active throughout the day. Most of the time I don't see too much value to it, but the chats can be useful for connecting and having a discussion of sorts.

      Lee

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  4. I am on Twitter but haven't participated in a Twitter chat--yet. I've seen them, though. For some reason, I'm always hesitant to jump in.

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    1. Next time just start by saying "Hello". After a while you start thinking of tidbits to chime in with.

      Lee

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  5. I am on Twitter, but I don't use it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Using Twitter is something you have to get used to in order to get in the habit of using it.

      Lee

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  6. I don't use Twitter either. I only follow one of my fave actors on it b/c he disabled his FB page. I find hashtags beyond annoying though, esp. on FB when people will use anywhere from four to ten of them. That needs to stop.

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    1. Yes, I've seen some hashtag overkill. I guess it's meaningful for those people following those tags, but it's gibberish to those who are not.

      Lee

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  7. I`ve seen a few. I use hootsuite, same thing as tweetdeck, and it does the trick to help me keep track.

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    1. I signed up for Hootsuite, but I'm accustomed to Tweetdeck. I suppose one is as good as the other. As long as it suits the user.

      Lee

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  8. I've never been in a Twitter chat. If I grab a glass of wine, who knows what I will say.

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    1. I can say weird things without the wine. You should join us for one just to see what it's like.

      Lee

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  9. I've used Twitter sporadically...but never for chatting. I find it a necessary evil. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Check out a chat. To me the chats are more interactive and personal then just randomly tweeting.

      Lee

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  10. I am on Twitter, but I don't do much with it. Between work and blogs and the occasional view of Facebook, I had to give something up time wise and so Twitter was the one to go (that and Pinterest). Might stop in for a Twitter chat, will see if my work schedule will allow it :)

    betty

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    1. If you can spare an hour you might find that you enjoy the chat. Drop in and check it out.

      Lee

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  11. We're on Twitter for kicks but don't get much use out of it. If we remember, we'll join on Thursday. Could be fun.

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    1. I'm sure you could add life to the party!

      Lee

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  12. I'll try to make it. I'm off on Thursday. Will it be through out the day?

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    1. There are two one hour chats each Thursday. The first is from 1-2 PM EDT and the second from 8 to 9 PM Eastern Time. Check it out and at least say "Hello".

      Lee

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  13. I love the A to Z chats! It can be a little tricky to keep track of everything that's going on, though. I haven't tried Tweetdeck but I think I'll look into it. Usually I just have the hashtag feed open in one window and my notifications in another.

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    1. Using a social media dashboard organizes those multiple open windows into just one window with columns for each feed. It can still be easy to get a bit lost in a very active chat but it's manageable.

      Lee

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  14. I have about 6 or 7 chats open in my Tweetdeck. Most of them on Thursday nights. They are a fun way to meet people. Although, when it's flying, it is hard to keep up with the conversation.

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    1. More than one chat would be more than I think I could handle. You must be good at media multitasking.

      Lee

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  15. My blog(s) be the only Social Media thang I do, and even that becomes overwhelming at times.

    Being semi-brain dead, I like to abide by the KISS ("Keep it simple, Stupid") maxim.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Actually Twitter is one of the simplest forms of social media and probably takes the least investment once you get the hang of it.

      Lee

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  16. I've been there for about 2.5 of the afternoon twitter chats but snow got in the way last week. Hopefully more people will show up this week.

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    1. I should be there for the afternoon chat. The evening one is what I can't usually make due to it being during our dinner time.

      Lee

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  17. I have to get to a chat soon. Thursdays are hard for me because that's the one day I try to do all my errands in town. Living in the mountains you make huge round trips to gather your supplies for the week and Thursdays have been my usual time. Will make it to chat though.

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    1. I've thought about that aspect of living in the country or far from stores. I don't think my wife would go for that though I might not mind.

      Lee

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  18. I actually have no desire to be on twitter. I don't get the reason for it for me, just saying and I get lost in a regular conversation so this would just screw me up royally. Have fun though!

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    1. It took me a while before I caved to joining Twitter. Now I like it better than I thought I would. It's nice when you have something very short to say.

      Lee

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    2. That's my problem-I am never short in what I say:)

      Delete
    3. I'm the same way, but Twitter has taught me an awareness of economy of words.

      Lee

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  19. Never tried Twitter...it never held any interest for me. Heck, I'm lucky if I look at Facebook once a month. And I only started texting in the last couple of years because I have two friends who text like they are in high school.

    It saddens me that our technology seems to be affecting our society far more than we know, especially in the area of interpersonal communication.

    You can easily see it in communication-young people will text the person sitting next to them on the couch.

    I saw a show a few weeks ago where a father of a teenage daughter tried to get her to watch a three-minute video, and she made a big deal of "not having time for that."

    The next day on ESPN's Mike & Mike they happened to be discussing the trend towards six-second videos (vines?).

    And I read of a radio station (in the midwest, I think) that only plays 90 seconds of a song because that is all that young people listen to anyway.

    How in the world do teachers teach if that is a true indication of attention spans?

    And how will these people function in the work place?

    No Twitter for me...While I don't think I am turning into an old guy with a rose-tinted view of the "good ole' days," not all of our technological "advances" are beneficial...and I fail to see any benefit in most social media.

    But you go ahead on Thursday and contribute to the decline and fall of our civilization....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LC,

      To address your comments regarding the negative impact of social media on young people.... I agree with you wholeheartedly, btw.

      I had a phone conversation with my ex's teenage son the other day. One of the things that came up is that he has difficulty relating to people in person. He's fine with a keyboard, texting, or even talking on the phone... but feels very disconnected from his friends and family. (I blame this very much on the dependence of social media that slams our young people. We older folks can take or leave it.) I didn't know how to help him. He's not going to put the phone down.

      Either before or after this he asked me that all-important question: What do you think I should do with my life? He rattled off several options: college, bumming, working at McDonalds the rest of his life.... The kid is smart and completely unmotivated to do anything. He flat-out said he doesn't want to go to work. Ever. I told him he was lazy and it was a shame he was so smart, because smart only takes you so far (in this case it's looking like a relative's couch). BUT, I think laziness aside (which is a significant problem, don't misunderstand me), he will have a much more difficult time in the work place than you and I did. He already has difficulty in face to face situations. Now parlay that into trying to work well with others (of all ages) and you have: Problem. I didn't have an answer that made him sit up and take notice.

      Unfortunately, I think is pandemic to this generation. I have no idea what will happen, but I think it will look a lot like the downfall of the Great Roman Empire. We were ultimately brought low by the Internet... something that could have made us great and had the opposite reality.

      So, no, I don't Tweet either. If I've got something to say I say it to a real person or on my blog.

      Delete
    2. My response is "yes and no". I don't think we can make sweeping generalities and point the finger at social media. I had no social media when I was a teen and young adult and I too felt a strong disconnect. I won't mention here what first helped me connect to others, but I've never been overwhelming a part of "society". I was fortunate to have found rather unorthodox job situations which suited my rebellious spirit well. Youth is a time of questioning and awkwardness and I think it's always been that way even before social media.

      I do see some problem with personal interaction being interfered with by social media, but I see this as a function of many older people I know as well as young people. Even my mother in her 80's before she died became so taken with TV and Facebook and the like that conversation seemed like a second fiddle activity.

      As for the tweeting, I do find most of it to be idle words ignored by most. The chats are the one truly interactive aspect of Twitter. I wouldn't want to replace face to face with Twitter chat, but the chats do open up a world of communicating with people we may likely never meet. And they help establish relationships that can potentially extend to our blogs where we can continue and expand on the conversation.

      Don't take me for any great champion of Twitter, but I see some value to it. I find it difficult to imagine how anyone could spend much time on Twitter as mostly it's a vast wasteland of words. But a modicum of use can be somewhat productive at times and every once in a while something does get heard and stirs action. The chats are useful though and it is talking to another person in real time where there is some interchange.

      Lee

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  20. I kid, of course, my friend! While you're Twittering (that sounds better than 'tweeting' to me) I'm sure I'll be listening to some rock music that will be rotting my brain!

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  21. When I scrolled past the comments, I thought I read, "the HASH is essential" and thought "maybe that's why I don't get Twitter!"

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    1. Twitter is probably best for those who have a game plan and a good reason for using it. Some of the tweeting is kind of ridiculous just as much Facebooking is. I think the jury is still out and may never return as far as the usefulness of Twitter, but for the time that I put into it I think the return isn't all that bad. Besides, tweeting gives me a chance to test some of my comic lines to see if anyone thinks they're funny.

      The chatting seems more useful than just randomly tweeting.

      Lee

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  22. I'm on Twitter but not as much as I should be. Once I ramp up some promos I'll use it more. And chats, not really. But I can see how they could be very useful.

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    1. I'm still not sure how effective Twitter is for promotions. I ignore most of the ones I see and I've heard advice that authors should avoid too much spammy Twitter promos. But I still don't know the real answer.

      Lee

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  23. I neither twitter or tweet. There is so much to do in the rest of living.

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    1. Well, I guess that can apply to many things. Tweeting takes so little time that I don't think much about it and I certainly don't spend time looking at the Twitter feeds--not usually at least.

      Lee

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  24. I've never done a chat. But I do love Twitter. There's always something new to figure out with it.

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    1. If you like Twitter then you should check out one of the chats. It's tweeting when you actually know someone's seeing your tweets because they answer back. Hope to see you at one of the chats.

      Lee

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  25. I'm not on Twitter, but I'll eventually join. Just not now...too much going on to get the hang of it now.

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    1. There's not really that much to get the hang of. Most of the tweeting I do just involves clicking share buttons and that takes a second or less.

      Lee

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  26. Yes, I have a twitter account, but I'm not active. Nope, haven't tried the twitter chat. Is it something special or just reply to a certain hashtag?

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    1. There are special official designated #AZchat times each Thursday at 1 PM and 8 PM Eastern Time. Look for the #AZChat hashtag and join in or just follow the conversation if you prefer. We like it though if you at least pop in to say "Hello".

      Lee

      Delete
  27. I'm on Twitter, but I've never done a chat. I don't get to use my computer at home (darn kids want me to actually pay attention to them), and I don't think my boss would appreciate me spending all of my time on Twitter. He hasn't complained about me visiting blogs, because that's my lunch/break, but I can't schedule a Twitter chat to my timing. :)

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    1. If you ever do have the time I hope you check out the chat.

      Lee

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  28. Hi Lee.
    Not sure Twitter is for me. linkedIn drives me crazy as it is.
    Neat that you have the A-Z chats, though.

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    1. Twitter is way different than LinkedIn or Facebook. I guess it's like texting if anything.

      Lee

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  29. Interesting.....I've been on Twitter for awhile now and still haven't figured it all out. Multi person chats in general aren't my thing (arthritic fingers can't keep up LOL), but I'll spread the word. On Twitter, of course. ;)

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    1. I'm not sure that anyone has really figured out Twitter.

      Lee

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  30. I think I could freak out trying to manage a Twitter chat LOL. Have fun!

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    1. Once you get acclimated it isn't too bad. My first couple chats were absolutely dizzying for me, then Tweetdeck made everything much easier.

      Lee

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  31. I've participated in regular Twitter chats, before Twitter began logging me off every single day and forcing me to reset my password. I've also proudly participated in pro-science, pro-vaccination Twitter chats, even if the usual suspects attacked me for standing for science and even said my Asperger's couldn't have ever been that bad if I were writing so well, went to school, and was able to be on a computer.

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    1. I wonder why Twitter is making you reset your password like that. Seems strange.

      Lee

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  32. I've done Twitter chats before and you're right, they can be all over the place... But FUN!

    I'll have to stop in on Thursday to see what it's all about.

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    1. Hope to see you there, Jen! And it's good to see you back blogging.

      Lee

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  33. You are so right about Twitter chats. They are often so very difficult to follow and sometimes...I think they're nasty!
    Easier to follow (but no less maddening): "Interminably Long Mindless Facebook Spats."

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    1. I haven't bothered with ongoing Facebook conversations. There seems to be a greater permanence with those conversations so that if you say something stupid people can keep looking at it. Twitter chats are like real life conversations--words fly and quickly disappear.

      Lee

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  34. I'll try to check in Thursday evening. BTW, thanks for including the time zone when listing the time.

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    1. Yes, the time zone is fairly important:) Hope to see you at a chat!

      Lee

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  35. Arlee, I left a fairly long reply for LC that I hope you read, too. I think the Internet is full of awesomeness and horribleness. Adults who know how to socially interact (people over 40) do a better job navigating. People 30-40 do okay. And people under 30 struggle. Teenagers really struggle. I don't see this getting better.

    So, alas, no I don't Tweet. Best to you with the A to Z this year, though:)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I did respond to your long comment. I think there is more awesomeness to the internet and the horribleness comes from the jerks who just want to screw with other people's lives and take advantage of them--I guess that makes it like real everyday outside world life.

      The internet gives me access to information and experience that would be very difficult to obtain--at least in a convenient and timely manner--than if I didn't have the internet. I'm also in contact with more people directly than at any previous time of my life.

      As far as social interaction, there are plenty of people over 40 who don't interact well if at all. And I think the older people get, the less they interact unless they are heavily involved in some organizational setting such as church. A lot of older people are alienated except for their families and that's not always a good deal either.

      So I don't know if it's right to blame the internet or society. The ills of our educational system and decline of the situation of finding good jobs that we keep for a lifetime or many years and other similar circumstances of modern life make a good many of us insecure. Why do those under 30 struggle? I don't know, but I did too and so did many others I know or knew.

      Life is like finding a burning paper bag full of dog shit on your porch every day and deciding on whether to stomp it out or let it burn.

      Lee

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  36. I was able to participate in one Chat last year and I thoroughly enjoyed myself! This year I got to get in on the Noon one last week for about 20 minutes and it was nice too. I look forward to some more.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. I guess that's noon in your time zone and 10 AM in mine. Hope to see you again on a chat.

      Lee

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  37. I really enjoyed taking part in the AtoZ chats last year. Looking forward to catching a few this year as well.

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  38. I don't do Twitter because one, I have a dinosaur phone (ye olden flip phone) and two, I still value my job. I've put up with 9 years with of stupid/asinine behavior from people who make two to three times my salary, and I would love nothing more than bury those people in cyber space.

    But like I said, I still value my job.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. You are wise to value your job in the present economy especially. And I too have a dinosaur phone. It works for me.

      Lee

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Lee