Friday, June 08, 2007

Old People on Facebook

Unless you've been stranded on a desert island for the last few years, you know what Facebook is. (Good work -- I have 3 Facebook profiles and still have practically no idea what it is.) From what I can gather, FB's original intent was to be a web networking apparatus with a similar user profile to myspace: young.

Since Myspace was invaded by old farts and became sooo last year, Facebook has been in ascendancy. But privacy fluctuates in inverse proportion to profile, and Facebook is now such a well-known networking platform that even the cops are in on the act, perusing Facebook to get the lowdown on any massive parties that young FBers might be planning. Worst of all, but inevitably, last year Facebook was invaded by old people (yes, that'd be me). Oh no. Oh yes, and it's an Issue: one of the news headlines on my buzzfeed yesterday was "Old people on Facebook".

Although it's no longer just for kids, Facebook still has a kid bias. Even as a corporate entity Facebook is pretty ageist, preferring to hire young people because they're "just smarter". I can't say I disagree, since I have reams of anecdotal evidence to support their position. There's no question that I'm a lot stupider than I was at 20 or 30 (or even 40). I'm slower to learn and slower to connect the dots in a given problem. Physical responses are slower. Hand-to-eye co-ordination is worse -- not so bad that I smash my coffee cup into my forehead (at least not on a regular basis) but the little things, like putting a key in a lock, are just a bit more difficult to negotiate. That's the way it goes -- Mother Nature's a cruel bitch. As what once stood high and firm goes south, so goes the IQ.

Which isn't to say that all young people are smarter than all old people. Facebook itself provides ample evidence that there are some profoundly stupid young people around *cough*Great Canadian Wish List*cough*. But for every dumbass kid, there's 2 cataclysmically stupid old people, which is probably why "Old People On Facebook" have become a source of amusement for the youngsters ("the youngsters", ha!). Say whaaaat?

What's it all mean? Probaby the same thing it meant for Myspace; Facebook is on it's way out. Because where old people go, the grim reaper surely follows.