Categories - Social Media
As a member of the Net generation, I must concede that I am an avid Facebook user. I'll admit there's been times of near addiction with Facebook, periods where I abandoned the site all together and, despite my growing boredom of drunken tags and indiscreet snapshots of my peers, I value Facebook as a (voyeuristic) outlet for maintaining connections. Until recently the domain of Facebook was secluded to my friends from college, some from high school and a few distant faces from childhood. But a few months ago my mother turned up, knocking at my Facebook door with a request to be my ‘friend.’ I accepted the request (of course!) Denying my mother a window into my internet life seemed cruel and a bit extreme. What’s surprising about my mother joining Facebook is the slew of other 50 something year olds that seemed to pop up around the same time. Apparently, it’s a trend. According to Inside Facebook, women over the age of 55 are actually the quickest growing demographic on the site. Naturally, their ambitions in the social networking world vary from those of their children. Many report using Facebook and other social media channels to reconnect with long lost friends. Others contend that using Facebook enables them to keep tabs on their children’s digital lives. Although Facebook has proven to be a wide enough of channel for over 250 million people, Baby Boomers seem to be crowding the space a bit. A recent study by OfCom in England shows that usage of people between the ages of 15 and 24 has dropped from 55% to 50% this year. In stark contrast, users, between the ages of 45-54, increased by 165% between December 2008 and February 2009. I doubt that snooping moms are responsible for the drop in Generation Y numbers as of late, but rather the slew of advertisers that follow them to Facebook. The Baby Boomer’s invasion into Facebook’s territory may in fact be sabotaging its “cool factor.” It begs the question, "if Generation Jones killed Friendster and MySpace, is Facebook next on their hit list?"