It’s official: Facebook is now for old people

Its official: Facebook is now for old people

I first joined Facebook in 2009. I was twelve-years-old and had been roped into the social media craze since I could make out the word Myspace on my sisters’ computer screens. One of the earlier activities that became accessible to Mark Zuckerberg’s website was the ability to post the photos I wanted without giving them much thought, to update my status hourly, and to play the now-infamous Farmville until my eyes blurred. For some students, Facebook is still a part of their lives and has been for years.

DHS senior Alexa Jerome said, “I joined in about sixth grade, and I do still use Facebook now.”

Time changes all, however, and Facebook could be considered to be heading down the path of the other gone-but-not-forgotten platforms such as Myspace, AOL Instant Messenger, and Friendster.

As clumps of millennial online users switch from the once iconic website to easy-to-reach apps like Instagram and Twitter, it seems that Facebook’s demographic has switched from young adults to those reaching their mid-forties. As I find myself filling my spare time on Buzzfeed, my grandmother is asking me how to “start up one of those Facebook screens.”

When did the gap occur?

Facebook, as seen in the Oscar award-winning film, The Social Network (2010), was made specifically for college age students back in 2004. It took years for the platform to be opened up to the general public, and by the time that 12-year-old Abbey made her way to the computer, Baby Boomers were still uninterested in sharing the details of their lunch or what their dog did when they were at the supermarket to their “friends” online.

Nowadays, when I find myself in the realm of boredom that nothing can suffice, I check Facebook to see what my relatives have put up, or if there are any notifications left to discard on the tiny Earth emoticon in dark blue. As usual, my newsfeed is filled with various posts from older aunts and the political rants from my family friends. It makes me feel a little uneasy, that if I wanted to hear all of this outcry, I would have just gone to a family reunion instead.

The adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” becomes alarmingly true when the amount of exposure you get is overwhelming.

As the great flight from party photos and pseudo-philosophical music quotes on Facebook occurred, now comes the influx of engagement posts and recipes on how to make Caribbean-style chicken that your great aunt shared.

There are, of course, millennials who still make their way through the website daily; however, they are increasingly outnumbered by the older generations who once scorned social media in its prime.

According to the Pew Research Center, in January 2014, 82% of Facebook users were in the age range of 30 to 49, only 7% lower than 18 to 29-year-olds. For the case of most older users, the Zuckerberg World managed to create a bridge to old friends and distant relatives.

DHS senior Jessica Silvia said, “More 30- to 50-year-olds use Facebook than people our age. I feel like Facebook is becoming more and more forgotten among younger people.”

Most young adults are focused on their studies and financial standing, respectively, and haven’t had the time to really wonder where the time has gone or what their old high school peers are doing. Baby Boomers grew up in a time when phones had cords long enough to travel within the house and computers were just objects belonging to the military. Where the fanciful nature of social media escapes us, it’s finally taken hold of the older users as a way to connect with people whom they wouldn’t have dreamed of seeing again.

In the midst of laughing baby videos and rants on the conspiracy of Obama’s homeland, Facebook has given those who are just figuring out advanced technology a chance. It just so happens that in the Baby Boomers’ discovery comes the onset of other social media outlets that the millennials will enjoy.