Children urge grandparents to connect with Facebook
A recent article on a US local news website sums up what older people are thinking about Facebook.
Many are reluctant to join the social networking website for fear of putting their personal details ‘out there’. This is exasperated by horror stories in the news of electronically stored personal details going missing, hackers and viruses, and in particular the recent increase of viruses aimed at social network users.
But older people are being encouraged to sign up by their children and grandchildren so they can keep in touch.
“A lot of the younger folks are wanting their parents, their grandparents to have a Facebook account to communicate with them. However, people are reluctant to do it because they don’t know much about it.” said Lori Williams, who runs a Facebook class for seniors. “We want to move them in that direction”.
Teens and the 20 to 40 group are familiar enough with the web to confidently join social networking websites and be able to find their way around. The internet, and even computers, are not so familar to older people so attending a class is a big help to get them started.
“I wanted to make sure that I could control what’s being put out there,” Charlie Laid said as she was attending Lori Williams’ class. “Because I have heard some disadvantages to social networking.”
Once familiar with the site, people soon start to see the advantages as they search for long-lost friends and colleagues.
“I could have done this a couple of years ago,” said Charlie. “But I was so hesitant about putting my information out there. I’m beginning to feel more comfortable about it now.”
There are 8.2 million registered users of Facebook in the UK alone. In total, Facebook has more users than the population of Japan (more than 67 million people).
More than 0.3 million people with Facebook accounts in the UK are over 50.
Facebook is a social networking website where you can find and join with friends, see their status updates, send messages, add photos, share links, find causes, join groups which interest you, find events and receive updates.
*Statistics from http://socialmediastatistics.wikidot.com/facebook
The Wales Co-operative Centre runs a programme for digital inclusion in the convergence areas of Wales.