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Yesterday I signed onto Facebook, as I often do. This time, though, something was different. I had a friend request (hold the jokes, that’s not the weird part) – it was from my mom.
Could this be? I think back to the time she called me to ask how to get to Google: “That white box at the top of the screen? Type it there. Oh, don’t forget to add .com at the end.”
But there she is, smiling at me from her profile picture, asking me to be her friend. I do consider my mom my friend, but you better believe I thought long and hard before clicking “confirm.” Do I have anything posted that I wouldn’t want her to see? (No.) Is there anything she wouldn’t already know? (No.) Do I anticipate posting anything soon that would upset her? (No.)
Realizing my apprehension is unfounded, I confirm, and am surprised to see I’m not the first – 28 friends have accepted before me. Running down the list of contacts, I can’t believe how many of her real-life friends are on here… my neighbors growing up, her cousins, my best friend’s mom. I hadn’t realized they were on “The Book” until she joined.
I know this shouldn’t surprise me. I’ve read time and time again that Boomers are the fastest-growing users of social networking sites. According to a June 2010 AARP survey, approximately one-quarter of all those 50+ use social media websites (27%) with Facebook being by far the most popular (23%). My mom is at the low end of that age spectrum, so I have to presume the rates are higher for her peers.
While I’ve been watching these statistics skyrocket over the past few years, and telling my colleagues it’s realistic to reach Boomers through Facebook, now it feels real. Facebook is no longer a “college thing” or a “Millennial thing” or even a “friends” thing – after all, Taylor has a Facebook page and now so does my mom. And, I have to admit, it’s ok with me – it feels well-rounded, all of my world in one place. But before it’s too late, I’m off to teach her not to “poke.”