Little by little over the past few years, I’ve noticed more and more parents on Facebook. At first I was a little hesitant to accept their friend requests, but over time I got over it, and now I have many of my friend’s parents as Facebook friends. Yes, I am ok with parents on Facebook, just as long as they are not my parents, right? Well I thought that was the case, but I was wrong. My Dad now has a Facebook and I am his friend.
All in all, I should not find this surprising. Data from Google Ad Planner shows that, 45-50 year-olds comprise 19% of all users across all social networks, 55-64 year-olds comprise 10% and 65+ year-olds comprise 5%, so basically 34% of all activity on social networks is comprised of individuals over age 45. Those numbers are very shocking, but very amazing. From a public relations and communications standpoint, it is very encouraging to see older adults, those who didn’t “grow up” on the computer, utilizing new communications and social media platforms.
I’m ok with my dad on Facebook, but what about others? A recent study by comScore was aimed to determine if the increasing number of parents on Facebook was discouraging usage and “ruining the party” for younger demographics. The way I see it, one should not be scared of parents on Facebook. Hello, if your parents are on Facebook so are your employers and prospective employers. Caution what you say and what you post, and we can all get along.
As a final note, you can always use having your parents (and other relatives) on Facebook to your advantage. I actually like to see my father on Facebook, it brings quite the humor and joy to my life. I get to see embarrassing pictures his friends from high school have added, such as the one to the left. And I also get to make fun of my dad as I hear him accuse me of “hacking” into his Facebook account because the pictures I tagged of him show up on his profile when he did not put them there. Before I explained the “tagging” process my dad was quite confused and of course it had to be my fault.