Beth Granter

Freelance digital consultant for charities

My parents online

My parents

If anyone wonders what people in their 60s do online, here’s my folk’s online activity:

Last week my Dad joined Facebook. My Mum has been on Facebook for around a year. Now when you’re new to Facebook, you get a progress bar to encourage you to come back and do more:

facebook progress

There must be something to the fact that each of them has favoured such different social channels through which to connect. Not sure how much is to do with gender and how much to do with their individual personalities, but Mum’s seem much more to do with communication (Facebook, blogging and MSN) whereas Dad’s seem more hobby specific and functional (Flickr, Diigo, MyLibraryThing, Last.FM).

4 responses to “My parents online”

  1. I think thats a really interesting blog Beth. Being totally geeky about it, your parents online activity does seem to fall into what is deemed a ‘traditional’ in terms of males being more practically led and women being more emotionally led in how they consume media and messages.

    Although these traditional gender bias assumptions really annoy me, it is really interesting that they are obviously accurate on some level.

    Also, and maybe more interesting, your parents are another piece of evidence supporting the fact that people in their 60’s+ are very active online despite marketplace thinking otherwise.

    Great post.

  2. I know what you mean! I’d been on LinkedIn for years and not reached 100%, then someone in my office joined and got theirs to 100% right away! It’s ok now though, I got competitive and got mine to 100% too…

    Maybe it would be better if you got achievement points for activity like you do on forums – to get the status and encouragement – but there’s never a constant reminder of what you *haven’t* done.

  3. Not really related… but: I dislike those progress bars on online networks. My LinkedIn account claims I’m never finished but in my opinion I have! It’s like being told off.

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