Social Networking Sites Are Bridging the Generation Gap

I can remember when my mom and dad and their friends would call me for computer help on a regular basis. My favorite story was my junior year of college when my mom called me to come home to Tybee because the sound was broken. I drove over an hour from my apartment in Statesboro just to turn on the speaker.

They have evolved and now each have their own laptop. Mom doesn’t call me as much for help, but I still wish I could get her to give up AOL.

My parents aren’t the only Internet users on Social Security (but let’s hope Mom’s not reading this blog today or I’m in trouble for revealing her age). This afternoon, as I sat down to check out my favorite sites, I found I had a new friend request on my MySpace page, with a message: “Hi Lisa. I know your mom and dad from the Shrine.” Yes, MySpace has managed to rake in other generations into their world. In fact, an article from late 2006 revealed that more than half of MySpace users are over 35, and about 11% were over 55.

But MySpace isn’t the only area of the net attracting Golden Agers. Photosharing websites such as Flickr and Picasa are becoming favorites, allowing travelers to share in the adventures from the road. While my parents were traveling this winter, I received a weekly email to their photo galleries to show off the fun they were having in the Florida Keys and Everglades.

So as more web-based social networking sites develop and evolve, we can expect the 55+ demographics to increase. Now, if I could just get my aunt to add Snopes.com to her favorite sites to visit, maybe I could reduce my inbox waste by 50%.



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