Monday, September 21, 2009

Facebook-It's Not Just For Students Anymore

The online world today offers something for everyone. Because the internet is a public domain, it is available for use by all people regardless of age. Today, there are many older and professional people using the internet for personal growth and satisfaction. From online banking and bill paying to personal relationships and networking, mature people are utilizing online technology to enhance their lives.

In our society individuals use outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and My Space to create an identity that defines who they are. Author Charles Cheung talks in the book Web Studies about Identity Construction and Self-Presentation On Personal Homepages. In this he list that a person has three identities. These are reflexive, ascribed, and the virtual identity. Most people that are on Facebook are showing their reflexive identities to friends and acquaintances. A person’s reflexive identity will show how he or she perceives himself or herself at any given time in their life. This identity will change as their roll in life changes. For example, students will use Facebook to communicate with friends, meet new people, or share pictures. A busy mother might chat with friends on an online network to plan events for children, create a carpool schedule, or make plans with other mothers. A busy father might go online to keep up with his families’ activities while he is traveling.

Just as the college student, the busy Mother, and the business professional use the Internet for socialization and to stay organized, mature adults use avenues such as Facebook or other online sites to stay in touch with people and events in the world today. Some use Twitter to voice opinions and learn what others have to say on a variety of topics. Networking sites like Facebook offer an opportunity to locate and renew friendships, share memories and pictures, plan events, and even meet new friends. In her article titled Help! My Mom’s on Facebook and Cooler than me!, Leslie Ventura said “These web sites have woven themselves into the fabric of human nature.”

Many young people are not happy that their parents and Grandparents are now active on these networking sites. We must face the facts. In her article, Ms.Ventura said, “You can run from it or you can embrace it. Either way, the technology we once thought was ours alone is now available to all ages.” Mature adults continue to use more technology in their everyday lives. The ability to learn, to voice opinions, plan financially, and to keep in touch with friends and family is important to people of all ages, from young to mature adult! We must learn to cohabitate in our public domain!