Sunday, October 07, 2007

Facebook: revisiting the young vs. old debate

Regular readers of MediaVidea know what I think of the social networking site, Facebook, and will have noted the young vs. old/ students vs. businessman theme I keep visiting often.

Alice Mathias, a 2007 graduate of Dartmouth who used Facebook when it was a new site and can safely be called as one of the original Facebookers, has written about her observations in the New York Times as Facebook struggles to morph into a catch-all site, Myspace+Google+ AOL+iTunes+.....for all varieties of ages, fetishes and fancies.

Her points:
1. For young people, Facebook is just another ‘form of escapism’ (that the business types are hoping to harness in the fashion of entertainment people)

2. On Facebook’s feature creep
According to Alice, most of her friends use only one privacy settings – choosing to prevent people to see that they are currently logged in.

Not wanting to be ‘disturbed’ while they browse the ‘circus’, Alice writes that young people think that doing otherwise would make others think that they are ‘currently Bored, Lustful, Socially Unfulfilled or Generally Avoiding Real Life. ‘

Something that the older set is not worried about at all.

3. Facebook as tool to pass time over anything else
Many of my friends are prone to having ‘puffed up’ profile pages on social networking for laughs, ego-trips and assorted pleasures.

One enterprising person has even put a link to a non-existing Wikipedia writeup about himself on his profile.

Describing Facebook as a ‘backstage makeup room’, Alice says:
…entirely phony profiles were all the rage before the grown-ups signed in

Is Facebook really meant for business?
I am not sure.

Final word on Young vs. Old debate:

According to a story in the Ad Age, 'twice as many young women use Social Networking sites to keep in touch with friends, share pictures and communicate compared to young men and there are more adult men, reportedly networking, on social networking sites than adult women.'

So, What do we have here?
Lots of Older men and lots of young women.

(thanks to Valleywag for this one)

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