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A new report by iStrategy Labs indicates that teenagers are leaving Facebook while there is an 80% surge in users with an age of 55 or above. That’s okay with me. I can quickly scroll through postings about the latest “OMG!” teenage angst of the day, even though I roll my eyes at teens slobbering over Justin Bieber and I’m perplexed by the constant incorrect use of your and you’re. Doesn’t anyone take English 101?
I know my younger friends don’t read my blog “Midlife Cabernet” and I don’t read their teenage nonsense. I do enjoy following their antics with their families because I usually know their parents or grandparents. It’s like a friendly community picnic without the slimy, green gelatin salad or pesky flies.
I welcome more middle-aged people joining Facebook because I’ve found long-lost friends and relatives who still want to be my friend. “Remember me?” is like a hug from the past. I can troll their pages and catch up with their lives, and it’s more convenient than sifting through the biographies in the old class reunion booklets. Plus, we don’t need the pressure to update our contact list or antiquated Rolodex files.
The Facebook study also revealed a 65% increase in college alumni. It’s a great method for contacting former collegians who knew each other during a pivotal time in their lives. Yes, we still have our Carole King Tapestry album, and no, we never ran away with that mysterious guru from India. We’re totally grateful that we didn’t have the Internet and Facebook when we were in college because there are some wicked photos that could have damaged future job interviews and relations with in-laws.
Through Facebook, we can prove we didn’t become a lonely goat herder in a foreign country because now we have an identity, a computer, and we know how to use the Internet. And we didn’t need to rent those smiling faces to pose as our real spouses, children, and grandchildren. Most middle-aged people are mature enough to know that if we don’t click “like” on a message that doesn’t mean we don’t like them. We’re over that junior high stuff.
The study claimed that teenagers are leaving Facebook because they want privacy from their parents and relatives. However, 71% of adults who use the Internet also use Facebook. With 1.2 billion monthly users, there’s still a good chance for an inclusive mix of all ages. And we older folks know a key statistic that the teens ignore: some day they will be old, too. And their kids will demand to have their own space, and we don’t need a fancy study to tell us those facts. But it does make us smile enough to show off our well-earned laugh lines.
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