So, your grandparents are posting photos on Facebook. Mom and Dad are looking for their colleagues on LinkedIn.
That's what articles I'm reading are saying. Social media is mainstream.
The big news seems to be that an increasing number of people ages 50 and older are joining social networks. A new report by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project shows that between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88% - from 25% to 47%.
During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100% - from 13% to 26%. For comparison, social networking use among younger users ages 18-29 only grew by 13%. Of course, that took them from 76% to a whopping 86%.
The trend amongst older users has been evident the past five years, but it made a bigger jump this past year. One explanation is that the 50+ age group is more computer literate and more comfortable using the Net than the earlier generation.
Companies that sell technology have noticed that seniors and pre-seniors are a somewhat untapped audience for e-commerce and devices like Kindles and iPads. They are also more likely to use services like high-speed Internet, photo and video sites and get beyond the still-killer app - email.
Colleges might be wise to also be looking at this group returning to school via the Net and with better tech skills.