Have you ever had the rather awkward, mortifying experience of realizing that someone far older than you — someone who should, at least stereotypically, be far worse at technology than you, and someone who may, in fact, be related to you — has way more Facebook friends than you? According to a recent study reported in the Telegraph, mothers over the age of 40 or had more Facebook friends than their kids — largely because they friended their kids’ friends. Tacky.
The research, based on an analysis of 2,000 Facebook users found that mothers were able to capitalise on their wide range of contacts, including friends of their children and even their parents, to collect thousands of friends.
Meanwhile, kids and teens tended to only be friends with their own age group, not least because being friends with Aunt Wendy leads to situations in which she tells your grandmother that you used a curse word in your status update, which gets back to your mom, which…well, just ask intern Myles.
These elder Facebookers like it for the community aspect, and therefore spend a lot of time collecting as many friends as they can, age-appropriate or not; playing Farmville; and sending annoying gifts to each others. Which all seems to indicate that you should defriend them immediately. They’re just using you! So uncool, Mom.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 31, 2011