Facebook’s glory days relived through our parents.

Edward Hopper zero friends

I remember when I set up my Facebook profile page for the first time in 2006. Each new friend I added was accompanied with a jolt of adrenaline, the unbelievable excitement of being able to collect everyone I’ve ever known in one place. My life was changed, as was most everyone else’s at the time. The ability to put your world in one photo album to share with everyone you ever knew was truly transformational, it is difficult to imagine an equivalent in human history.

Although, social media had been mounting throughout the earlier decade, with platforms such as Myspace, Friendster and even AOL Messenger, Facebook became the ideal sum of all those parts, the perfect platform to share and keep up with friends. In those early years, Facebook really did redefine the world and could easily be marked as one of the largest media shifts of our lifetime. Those were the golden days of social media, when everyone felt empowered and excited to share and connect, but now ten years past the launch of Facebook many of our earlier ideals for the website have been shattered, diminishing the initial enthusiasm.

Edward Hopper Facebook friend

Our parents joining Facebook has reminded us all once again how fun it can be. Ages 50-64 are the now the fastest growing demographic on Facebook, charging ahead in the unfamiliar terrain with more enthusiasm than we ever could have ever imagined. The original lovers of photo albums and greeting cards, our parents, aunts and uncles, are shamelessly exploring all the social possibilities the networking site has to offer. And it is difficult to not feel excited for them. It is exhilarating enough for a twenty something to reunite with a lost friend, it is difficult to imagine the rush at age fifty.

During a time in which most Facebook users have consciously disengaged, it is humorous to see our parents taking over as the most active and enthusiastic demographic when it comes to sharing and interacting on the platform. Unaware of the established etiquette and boundaries of online media, our parent’s bluffs have made for some hilarious fail blogs. However, witnessing their unabashed enthusiasm has given us a glimpse into our former online selves, when we all hastily participated on the platform, sharing all aspects of our lives and actively learning more about others. Why have us earlier users become so jaded by social media, abandoning Facebook in particular?

(images sourced via adweek)

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