If you consider yourself to be over the hill and think social networking sites like Facebook are a young person’s game, then think again.
According to a recent report, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is no longer those in their teens and 20s, but instead those aged over 65. And the oldest of them all? Why, that’s 101-year-old Florence Detlor of Menlo Park, California, of course.
And what’s more, Florence, who joined the site three years ago, got to meet Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s headquarters this week, together with the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.
Sandberg later mentioned the little get-together on her Facebook page, writing, “Honored to meet Florence Detlor, who, at 101 years old, is the oldest registered Facebook user. Thank you for visiting us, Florence!” A photo of the three, which already has 7,000 Likes, shows Florence looking positively delighted, with a smiling Sandberg and Zuckerberg standing behind her.
Of course, it’s quite possible Florence’s title as “the world’s oldest Facebook user” will be short-lived as teenagers around the world attempt to gently coerce their even older great grandparents into joining the social network. Indeed, one user commented on Sandberg’s page, “My grandfather in law is turning 102. I need to get him to sign up!”
Recent data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project showed that 53 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are now online, while 34 percent spend time on social networking sites, such as Facebook, with many so-called silver surfers finding it a great way to stay in touch with children and grandchildren (and possibly great grandchildren).
And it’s not just social networking that computer-savvy senior citizens are getting involved with, either. A 100-year-old woman from Scotland made the news earlier this year when she sang the praises of her Nintendo DS gaming device, claiming it kept her mind stimulated as well as sharp.