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Friday, July 10, 2009

Do Old Fogies On Facebook Send Youngsters Running?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 12:59 PM

click to enlarge She's writing on your wall...
  • She's writing on your wall...
The ethical quandary of the year for the next generation of Facebookers starts with a simple scenario: You plop down in front of your computer to check out what your friends have been up to on the ol' News Feed, when you notice that someone has sent you a friend request. You're excited because you're pretty sure it's that cute barista at the coffee counter who winked at you this morning and you think she'll dig those videos of you taking bong rips while simultaneously doing a naked moonwalk on your buddy's roof. Because who wouldn't?

But when you click on the request, your barista fantasies come to a screeching halt.

It's mom. And she wants you to friend her. 

According to a Facebook demographics and statistic report released this week, the number of Facebook users who identify as 55 and over has increased by 513.7 percent in the last six months alone. Meanwhile, the number of high school users has dropped by 16.5 percent, and the number of college users by 21.7 percent. Is there a correlation between the two? Who knows. But if the recent appearance of the "Oh Crap. My Parents Joined Facebook" Web site is any indication, a link between the trends will surely reveal itself in the following months.

But let's get back to our opening scenario: Do you ignore that her profile picture features a nude picture of you at age five kissing your sister and accept mom's friend request? Do you risk your online social networking life? Or do you risk crushing mom with the news that you just aren't ready to take your relationship with her to that level?

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Anna McCarthy


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