Thursday, October 02, 2008

Old people on Facebook

Facebook used to be the domain of the college student. Then they expanded it to everyone but it was still mostly the domain of the young.

I remember last year when there was a 60 Minutes episode interviewing the creator of Facebook and Leslie Stahl created her own profile-- which she quickly deleted because she "couldn't understand it." I remember a story about Carl Kassell, the voice of "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" on NPR having a Facebook profile and likely being the oldest person ever to be on Facebook (though it was maintained by his 20-something intern. Carl's on my Friend list).

I guess the college students grew up, got married, started having babies. Facebook was a way to put their babies' pictures up. Grandparents got involved. This past year I started seeing more and more gray hair on Facebook.

My mom is now on Facebook. Not only that, but some of her peer group and some even older than her have also gotten accounts and so she's finding friends quickly. Never ever thought I'd see it. It's just weird. Because Facebook is the place where college students upload drunken pictures of themselves that they would never show their parents, or their parents' friends. But now their parents and grandparents and extended family are all online and watching. It's an unnerving rapid shift in society.


Jessica said...

I don't know if your mom reads your blog, I suspect she does. Will she take offense to the implication that she is old?

JTapp said...

I've been calling my parents "old" for 15 years.
It wasn't a direct reference to my mother, but rather to her generation and those older. I am "old" to my students, so in Facebook years it's anyone older than 23.

John said...

I've been on Facebook for quite a while. It's how I keep up with all of our missionary team from Poland. And I'm 55 with a ton of gray.

Liz said...

I've found that old people who do "get" Facebook are more often the ones who go overboard and constantly send you application requests!

JTapp said...

Liz, I see the same thing. Hope you're not referring to your parents. They were one of the first "old people" to get Facebook, I think. They've always been "hip."

Liz Waters said...

Haha, yeah my mom jumped on pretty quick but my dad's not there yet. She's definitely not the worst offender.