Facebook is the social media site where post-50s gather, right? It's where they find old high-school loves, share their pain in depositing their freshmen in dorms for the first time, and joyously post photos of their grandkids' 1st birthday parties. Ask any teenager why they aren't on Facebook anymore and the answer will be because their parents are now there. And boy, are they ever. According to Time Magazine, there has been an 80 percent growth in Facebook users 55 or older in the three years ending in January 2014 -- and at the same time there was a 33 percent drop in users aged 13 to 24.
How deep are the roots of the relationship between mid-lifers and Facebook? Plenty deep. Facebook has reportedly been noodling some ideas of late that suggest it wants to keep the 55+ crowd happy and firmly in its grasp. It's thinking about creating new online "support communities" to connect Facebook users suffering from various ailments.
All of which makes Sarah Sutton's decision to shed herself of Facebook's tentacles that much more startling. No, one person does not a trend make. But all trends were started by one person, correct? Please wave your AARP card if you agree with what the 55-year-old California real estate agent has to say. She posted this earlier today:
"Please don't take it personally, I am simplifying my life and I am un-friending everyone that isn't family, a real friend (people that I actually know) or doesn't have one of my rescue dogs. This feed is too much and some of the stuff on here I should not be seeing."
Huff/Post50 called her and asked for amplification. Said Sutton: "I found that I was spending a ridiculous amount of time reading a news feed of people I don't know. I had more than 980 'friends' and most of them were strangers. I found myself clicking on things like someone being killed by a tiger in Russia. I don't want to watch things like that.
"Too many things like that were showing up in my news feed -- awful things that just stressed me out and bother me after I watch them. Sick things that I don't want in my life. Who needs that kind of stress?" she said.
Sutton said she had heard about ISIS' beheading of a journalist and knew enough to not watch that video as it populated her news feed. She notes that she doesn't use Facebook for work and won't be keeping any Realtors on her friends list. "Why do I need to tell other agents when I take a vacation?" she asked. She will however encourage dog rescuers to like her FB "Last Bad Day" page so they can stay looped in to pups who need to be fostered.
What was the final straw that pushed her to cut back on the site that wants her to have more friends? A cat video of course. But in this case it was one of a cute kitten in a bowl, which then gets doused by gasoline and set on fire.
Readers, we'd like to know your thoughts on Facebook and whether you think you might be joining Sutton some time soon?