Am I Too Old to Be on Facebook?

Many people join social networking sites, including Facebook. It is the new way to stay in contact with others, and people of all ages have access.

I’m on Facebook. It certainly isn’t the only social network I belong to, but it’s one of the latest I joined.

David Bohl’s Facebook profile

Why did I wait so long? Because my daughter and son hang out of Facebook. I guess I thought that it was their “sacred domain” on something. I didn’t want them to think I was checking up on them or invading their world.

All that thinking and anxiety was misplaced. When I mentioned to my kids that I had joined Facebook, they both added me as a friend. I guess it isn’t too embarrassing that I’ve invaded their turf.

But I know I’m not alone.

Business Week talks about this phenomenon in a recent article titled Fogeys Flock to Facebook. Although I somewhat resent the characterization that’s been put forth that people in their 30s and 40s are “fogeys” – as in old fogeys: “elders”, “older people”, “ancient”, “forefathers”, “golden agers”, “senior citizens”, “oldsters” – people of stodgy and old-fashioned attitudes (I think you get the picture and my feelings of bitterness), there’s no denying that I find many people that I know personally and in business on Facebook.
And there are even some folks hanging out there who are older than me.

Us fogeys – those of us who are 35 and older – now account for 41% of the site’s visitors.

Does that mean we’re all a bunch of predators? Absolutely not. “Clearly, Facebook has lots of traffic and a lot of that traffic is from the same group of users as on LinkedIn” according to David Cowan, a LinkedIn investor.

That makes sense. If it’s true, great. If it’s a rationalization, that works just as well for me. After all, I’m on LinkedIn as well.

View David B. Bohl's profile on LinkedIn

I’m also not crazy about reading in the story I mentioned above that Facebook has become “the place to see and be seen.” Just because I’m put off by it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. My kids are, and always will be, much cooler than I am. That’s the way of every generation.

What will it take for me to be cooler in their eyes? When the time comes for them to join LinkedIn. I’ll never get “props” for being there before them, but I’ll always know.

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