Parents use facebook?

By Michael Pankonien

Staff Writer

Video by Ryan Clancy and Monica Moran

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerman in2003. The website’s membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It later expanded further to include any university student, then high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over. The website currently has more than 350 million active users worldwide.  So why is it that most people I see on facebook are definitely not adults?

As facebook has become the world’s most popular social networking site with an online population larger than that of the United States itself, facebook has increasingly become the teenage method of choice for online communication.  Whereas people of our parents generation stick to emails and phone calls, kids of our generation use wall posts and text messages.

“My son made me a facebook, but I checked it once and then forgot about it,” James Casey said. “I just stick with email’s since that’s what all my colleagues at work use.”

In 2006, facebook opened itself to everyone of the age 13 or older.  This was a dramatic step for facebook as the website was simply a means for old high school or college buddies to keep up with each other.  Now it’s become a means for everyone to keep up with each other, including friends, relatives, and work colleagues.

“Now that my daughter’s off at college I don’t always see her like I used too,” Janice Redding said.  “Now we leave little notes on each other’s walls a lot.  It feels more personal than email.”

There’s two sides to this coin however, and what may feel like reconnecting for some may feel overbearing for others.

“It can be a weird experience when you’re sitting there and all of a sudden you get a friend request from some person you vaguely remember,” said Leila Sharonbianlou. “Out of every dozen or so friend requests, you get about one random one.”