Cross Generational Appeal of Facebook

At the WJHL news desk during Part 1 of Social Media 101 series.

At the WJHL news desk during Part 1 of Social Media 101 series.

I was recently asked by WJHL-TV 11 Connects News to continue my ongoing Social Media 101 series. With the news that Facebook had crossed the 250 million user mark, News Director Neal Boling and I decided that a story on the cross generational appeal of Facebook would be of interest to viewers So I simply went to my Facebook friends and their friends and in a very short time found interview subjects ranging from a college sophomore, to a mother-son duo and a retired college professor.

How and why did they use Facebook? Of course “connecting” was the word of choice. However each generation used the social media tool with a twist. For the college student it’s become a replacement for the telephone. Just post a note on someone’s wall and they will get back to you at their convenience. The 30-something and his mother use it to connect with old friends. Getting to see grandchildren’s photos was a highlight for his mother who has children spread around the country. For the retired college professor it’s a way to keep up with his political, religious and environmental interests. To our bemusement he shared that he quickly found how to turn off his own daughter’s online news feed. “I don’t want to hear that she feels yucky,” he told me.

When asked about the recent Anderson Analytics survey that said only 29% of Facebook users could live without the popular networking tool each interview subject told me they could, in fact, live without it (although the college sophomore used the word “maybe”), but they would prefer not to. My three part series airs July 27-29 on 11 Connects News at 5 pm and 11 pm.

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