As the Christmas holiday gets nearer and nearer, we start making our rounds to the grandparents’ houses scattered across West Virginia. However, the trip this year got me thinking about more than the standard pair of Christmas pajamas (which I somehow get every year). After visiting, opening gifts and eating a delicious meal, my grandmother came up to me and asked me something I never thought I would hear her, or any of my other grandparents, say. She asked me if I could help her remove something on her Facebook. Yes, I said her Facebook.
Although I shouldn’t be surprised that she has a Facebook, the question caught me off guard. The social media site that has become so popular to my generation has also penetrated a generation that grew up listening to record players. As I was helping her, I couldn’t help but relate this to my IMC program because this new era of media has certainly had a huge impact on several different age groups. It also made me very curious to see just how many “elderly” people are using Facebook.
After doing some research, it became obvious that this age group was not Facebook’s primary audience, but most of us could have guessed that. The 26-34 age group took that award with around 26.1% of users falling in that age category. It did surprise me, however, to find that the 55-64 age group account for 4.6% of the users. Granted, this does not seem like a very large number, but when you are talking about 4.6% of the 629,982,480 this age group isn’t doing so bad.
After looking at the breakdown by age and gender, it became even more clear to me that Facebook is being used by an extremely large range of people, even my grandma. In addition, this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping. There are still several people without Facebook accounts, but there aren’t many that do not at least know what the site is. This year for Christmas, I helped my grandmother with her Facebook account, which is not something that happens everyday.