Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I recently joined the community of Facebook and Twitter users. For almost a year I had fought off my daughters’ attempts to get me to sign up for a Facebook account. They listed all the benefits I would gain: keeping in touch with family and friends, sharing photo albums and videos, keeping informed of events, and so on.

Source: Matures Online - Focalyst Insight Report, April 2008
Frankly, I wasn’t the least bit interested. I was perfectly content to keep busy with my blog. What finally sold me was Facebook’s ability to link users almost instantaneously with long-lost friends from high school days. I registered for a Facebook account on 4 April 2009, and two days later, for added measure, a Twitter account.

Silver surfers are flocking to the Internet in ever increasing numbers. A Facebook report released in February 2009 puts women over 55 as the fastest growing demographic in the US. The men are not too far behind. The trend is similar across the world, according to the Facebook Global Monitor which tracks Facebook in 95 countries, including Malaysia and Singapore.

What started off as a social networking site for young people is now in danger of being swamped by silver-haired users. Good news for us seniors, but not so good for the younger users. They can’t turn down their parent’s request to be added to their friend list without sounding rude or arousing suspicion. But when parents are given access to what their children post online, perhaps it’s time for the latter to look for a new networking site. Pages such as the mock one below is a sample of what future Facebook pages might look like.

Click here for a bigger image.

Twitter is the current ‘happening’ place for senior net-users. When the media reported that Oprah was now on Twitter, it sparked interest among seniors to sign on so they could follow the tweets of their favourite celebrities.

Evan Williams, Chief Executive of Twitter, with Oprah Winfrey. Photo: NYT
As for me, I signed up for a Twitter account in response to suggestions from my blog visitors to organize events and get-togethers. I thought the easiest and fastest way to do this, and to get feedback was to use Twitter as a channel of communication. So if you are a senior and keen to be kept in the loop, sign up for a Twitter (or Facebook) account. It takes only a few minutes. Click here for more details. Once you are registered, please send me your Twitter url, so I can follow you and vice versa. Hopefully, that will start the ball rolling.

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