Earlier this week, the British woman billed as “the world’s oldest Twitter user”—Ivy Bean—died. She was 104.
Ms. Bean had been active on Twitter (with 53,000+ followers) and Facebook, often posting entries about her daily life and sometimes video. I’m not sure if she did all of this herself, or had help, but the fact that she wanted to become involved on both Twitter and Facebook really says something.
It’s a simple lesson—and an old one at that—but when it comes to technology, perhaps a new one:
You’re never too old to learn something new.
Social media is proving that it is, in fact, for everyone—not just for tech-savvy youth. It connects entire families and has gained popularity as a way for Grandma to see that picture of Junior that was taken five seconds ago at the park. One could easily argue that social media has made people feel more connected; geographically distant or even extended families and friends have a greater presence in each other’s lives if they can keep up with them in real or nearly real-time.
Ms. Bean was not raised on computers, video games, or cell phones. In fact, when she was born—in 1905—people weren’t even using telephones. But she was drawn to social media and by measuring the size of her following, people were drawn to her.
Research has shown that the demographics of social media users might be older than some first thought: 18-34 year olds comprise the largest group of U.S. users on Twitter and the 50+ demographic has nearly the same number of Twitter users as the 13-17 year old demographic (via Quantcast).
Whether they grew up with technology or not, people are using social media and becoming less intimidated by the technology. Once registered, people might find the learning curve to be lower than expected and they get hooked. Besides, who wants to miss an upload of Junior’s first solo attempt at the monkey bars? Not @Grandma.