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Social networking at my age? Go figure

By: Carol Feineman, editor
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I’m not clueless about modern technology. For years, I’ve e-mailed, instant messaged and text messaged on my computer and cell phone without any problems. But when it comes to online social networking sites, I’m old-fashioned. I’d rather call someone on the telephone or send e-mails back and forth. Truth is, I haven’t kept up with the sites. First there was Friendster. Then MySpace, Bebo, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Every time I looked, there seemed to be a site-of-the month to explore. But after spending at least half my day on the computer, checking e-mails and researching, I just didn’t feel like spending my spare time seeing which online sites were beneficial. If you’re under 35, online sites pretty much come with the territory. But I hardly heard of anyone over 35 praising the benefits from these sites. Until now. All of a sudden, it seems, all ages are creating Facebook profiles. In fact, the fastest-growing demographic are those 35 years old and older, according to Facebook’s online pressroom. While the organization’s pressroom wouldn’t speak the old-school way over the phone or through e-mails, according to Facebook Communications Elizabeth Linder on Monday, the online pressroom (facebook.com/press) states that half of the 300-plus million Facebook active users around the world look daily at the site. While I have no way of checking whether that impressive statistic is accurate, I do know that several of my peers and acquaintances over age 35 have sent me Facebook requests “to become their friends” these last two weeks. Now that Facebook has sufficiently caught my attention, I’ve discovered 25 members from my Rotary Club of Lincoln are on the site. So are all five Lincoln City Council members. Even the city of Lincoln has a Facebook page. “I put agendas, minutes, when the Zebras were out there, I would link News Messenger reports, anything that I deem newsworthy,” said Jill Thompson, the city’s public-information officer about her facebook.com:80/CityofLincoln page. “A lot of people are so busy, it’s one more way to stay in touch with the city.” Speaking of newsworthy, it makes sense that all the Gold Country Media newspapers have their own Facebook fan pages. “Since Facebook already has millions of active users, we wanted to make our stories accessible to these users, which is why we created an account,” said Stephanie Breitbart, the Gold Country Media online content producer. “It’s a new fun way to connect to the newspaper through an avenue that millions of people are already using.” “The Lincoln News Messenger Facebook page brings you the latest breaking news, features and more to your Facebook homepage,” Breitbart added. “So become a fan of the Messenger today and stay updated with all the latest community news!” Want to join the 300 million other users but are afraid to ask? It’s easy. Just type in facebook.com online and follow the prompts. And it’s free. It’s time my generation joined the younger generation online. There’s room for everyone. At a Glance On Facebook: Follow us by searching Lincoln News Messenger On Twitter: Follow us at http://twitter.com/LincolnNM Carol Feineman can be reached at 774-7972 or at carolf@goldcountrymedia.com