Monday, April 30, 2012

If You Can't Beat Them Join Them

{Photo credit:}

Although some elderly people are frustrated with social media and feel isolated from it; others are embracing it and taking the approach "If you can't beat them join them!" This article brings to light the ways older generations are using social media outlets such as Facebook to keep in touch with their grand kids and other relatives and feel more involved in their lives. The article jokes "That next friend request could be grandma." is a website that keeps track of its users data and analyzes how facebook is being used; it has found that it's fastest growing demographic is women over the age of 55. These women could include everything from grandma wanting to see her grand kids faces or a mom - stalking her kids while they are away at college. The point is this crowd is using facebook as a tool to keep informed. Unlike Facebook's younger users who often join Facebook to connect with current friends in high-school or college Facebook's older users are drawn to the possibility to connect with friends they have not seen in years and family members who they do not see often enough.

It is more difficult for some older users to learn how these social media outlets work, but generally once they have the will and patience to learn they become more comfortable with it. It can be a foreign concept to some because they are not accustomed to technology and because of the way it is taught. An elderly women in the article comments "Most things in the world we learn from elders, but technology is the realm we learn from the younger generations." Older generation are being taught the ins and outs of social networking sites by their younger relatives or now many Senior Citizen living communities are offering classes on it as well. Some older generations tend to shy away from social networking sites is because they feel it is an invasion of privacy and it may feel uncomfortable and unnatural broadcasting certain information about themselves. Because of this, older Facebook users are more likely to comment on others postings and photos than initiate. As the older generations become more comfortable with Facebook, some claim other sites such as Twitter are still very intimidating for them and they do not see themselves participating in the near future. They are taking baby steps to become a more tech savvy crowd.

1 comment:

  1. This is certainly an interesting story about a growing demographic among users of social network sites (and a group that might not always be familiar with the rhetorical conventions of such sites, as your illustration humorously points out). But this story would be a lot more relevant if you made a direct connection to our digital journalism class. Perhaps you could elaborate on possible links to our readings about "digital natives" early in the class.