I ran across a wonderful blog by a wonderful 17-year-old who gets creeped by the 40-and-older crowd on Facebook. I think I see her point. Actually, she's being more generous than my generation was. When I was 17, the prevailing conventional wisdom was: "Don't trust anyone over 35."
I had a MySpace account two or three years ago, but it died from lack of interest. I just couldn't connect to the oh my god, i wuz so wasted, lol chatter on most MySpace pages. I make no apologies, and I'm well aware of what has happened. I'm in my 50s now, and puking is usually a sign of some serious trouble at my age. Nothing to lol about, unlike when I was 17.
But for this class, I signed-up for both Facebook and MySpace. I figured that if we were going to talk about and dig around in this Web 2.0 stuff, then I should at least be aware of what's going on on these social networking sites. Was this wise?
In her blog, Ms. Suri says, "What's up with the 40-and-older crowd on Facebook? From my perspective--as a 17-year-old girl brought up to be hyperaware of my surroundings, especially online--I have to be a little skeptical of the people who are adding me as friends on Facebook."
I think she's right. 40+ guys shouldn't be hitting on 17-year-old girls anywhere. Not in a restaurant, not on the beach, and not on Facebook. That's obvious. What isn't so obvious is her assumption that the 40-and-older crowd perhaps shouldn't be on Facebook at all. Is that true?
So here are my questions: Should the 40-and-older crowd (I'm 55) be on the social networks at all? If so, then how should they behave? Why don't we put together a little guide for the elders who want to try Facebook/MySpace, but don't really know how to behave. Start making some suggestions.