At What Age Will You Stop Using Facebook?

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http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/01/at-what-age-will-you-stop-using-facebook/267426/

“Imagine 7 years spent living in a college dorm, or 15 years spent attending the parties you went to in your twenties. Now imagine yourself perusing a Facebook stream daily for a full 25 years… Doesn’t that just feel like too long?”

Came across this article from the Atlantic recently and thought it would make for an interesting class discussion. The author proposes the idea that people my age, in their twenties and early thirties, will one day move on to bigger and better things than Facebook, he suggests that our social and digital habits will evolve, and ultimately, we will grow older, wiser and tired of Facebook.

Personally, I’m not a big Facebook fan. I consider myself a light user. That being said, the idea of getting too old for Facebook seems bizarre and unexpected. Even for a light user like myself, I’ve come to recognize Facebook as a critical digital and social component of our daily lives, it’s challenging to imagine life without it.

The article makes a compelling case for the idea that current Facebook users may “outgrow” Facebook as it currently exists. A lot of the behavior of Facebook is based on either juvenile behavior or major life changes that can be shared by way of Facebook. As many of us grow older, there may come a point where we lose interest in both these sorts of behaviors. The idea that one would still be liking, poking, uploading photos, posting on friends walls, sharing connected apps, and participating in all the quirky Facebook activities for the rest of one’s natural life seems far fetched. In other words, how will the process of aging and ongoing socialization translate to the digital world? I would estimate, I will get bored with Facebook by the time I’m 64. What do you guys think?

Can Facebook successfully adapt to an aging target market?

How will our digital media habits evolve as we grow older? How will digital natives media habits evolve as they grow older?

Do you think it’s possible to become “too old” for Facebook?

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5 thoughts on “At What Age Will You Stop Using Facebook?

  1. I feel like regardless if Facebook is able to adapt to it aging 20 and 30 year old users, they will still have a massive group of users. For every one 20 or 30 year old they might possibly lose, they will probably gain a 3 or 4 more new, young users.

    I also feel like Facebook already appeals to older people, such as some of our parents, and they don’t necessarily need to do anything different to keep their grasp on our generation.

    In my opinion, the only way Facebook will be in trouble is if they do something to piss off their users enough to boycott it, or something newer and better comes along and becomes more popular that Facebook.

    • You make a good point. I think the most important issue for Facebook going forward is attracting new users, since there will be a portion of people who stop using Facebook. Unsure whether or not there has been any research on the topic, but from anecdotes I’ve heard from young people, they view Facebook as a phenomenon for “old people”. They’re more interested in photo sharing platforms like Instagram, (which is owned by Facebook). Going forward it will be interesting to see how Facebook adapts and continues finding new avenues for growth.

      • I think that as long as Facebook continues to be one of the main sites that people choose to share their photos and life-milestons, it will continue to flourish. Per cbacchi1’s earlier post, my parents joined Facebook just to see our pictures. As we grow older, we’ll probably feel the same need to remain on Facebook, if not just to continue to be involved in our children/family’s day-to-day lives.

  2. You make a good point. I think it will depend whether or not Facebook maintains their ability to attract massive numbers of new, young users going forward, otherwise older generations will have little reason to keep using it.

  3. This is an interesting topic. I personally think that your Facebook longevity has very little to do with your age. Many of my friends, who are in their late 20’s and 30’s have quit Facebook and are not planning to return. At the same time you see a great inflow of parents joining the site. Instead I think it’s the individual habits and preferences that will determine the length of person’s Facebook life.

    While most people I feel will retain their accounts, the time that they spend on updating and following their friends on Facebook will be reduced. People will either find new and more excited sites to join or other activities outside of online reality.

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