Generations meet at a social media crossroad

By Sarah Bergen

     A group of Rider students volunteered their Saturday morning to work one-on-one with adults and teach them the tips and tricks of social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Associate Professor of Communication Dr. David Dewberry and Associate Professor of Journalism Dr. Aaron J. Moore worked with Crossroads of the American Revolution to plan the workshop, which was held in Fine Arts 359 on Sept. 20.

     “The goal was to create an opportunity for students to interact with members of surrounding communities,” said Dewberry. “Many of the students developed connections with their assigned partners and left with new contacts and opportunities.”

   Students were paired with adults and showed them the basics of social media. Many of the  were especially interested in learning how to create and effectively utilize a Facebook page that represents their historical society or site. The students got a lot out of the experience and were happy to be the teachers for a change.

     “I thought the event was fun and very interesting because the roles were reversed,” said senior web design major Tiffany Reyes. “I was teaching someone older than me, something that comes natural to me: understanding social media. It was an overall rewarding experience.

     “The woman I worked with had such a wonderful time and could not have thanked me enough about how much I was helping her. If this workshop was done again, I would definitely be interested in participating.”

     Crossroads is one of 49 national heritage areas set up by Congress in 2006. The goal of this specific heritage site is to celebrate New Jersey’s participation and contributions in the American Revolution. Crossroads works with historical societies and other partners with historical sites that have ties to the American Revolution. It helps to promote events and attract tourism to these historical sites in order to support small businesses and the economy as a whole, while simultaneously spreading knowledge of New Jersey’s history.

     Crossroads program manager Bob Sands was excited to connect students with some of the partners that he works with. He explained that it is vital to bring in young adults to Crossroads in order to continue to care for historical sites in New Jersey.

     “We support these events because we are trying to get people interested in history — people like you guys,” Sands told the students. “Young people like yourselves are going to be the next generation to take over all of these things. We are only stewards for a short time and it’s you guys we need to bring in because you’re going to be the next stewards who are going to take care of these places just like the others who have been doing it for 200 and some odd years.”

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