Baby boomers don't like it when other people (formerly known as their older authority and power figures e.g. "The Man") have something they don't...so they usually figure out ways to get it, too. Looks like they may be at their old tricks...only this time, they're inspired by what's cool with their own kids: MySpace.
After all, kids are always the arbiter of cool. If kids can have a MySpace, why can't us Baby Boomers have our own site cool to us that's uncool to our kids?
By now, most Baby Boomers are well-aware of the online social network phenomenon...places where people gather, share, gossip, "meet" and become "friends" online. They know of places like MySpace and Friendster mainly because they read magazines like Fortune or Forbes or, on the flip side, they read news reports in USA Today or watch on Oprah getting them concerned over potential threats to their children or grandchildren due to rare incidents that shows adults taking advantage and/or preying on unsuspecting teens.
They certainly don't know MySpace from their own usage because it is too messy, noisy, confusing and too much trouble to navigate...which is exactly why it is so successful among teens and Gen X/Y/New millenniums. That grownup usage barrier means the "kids" get more freedom to express themselves without a concern of a parent or other authority figure ever discovering their "odd" or potentially embarrassing proclivities.
Well, at least the chance is very small for now. Businesses are only now setting up ways to better locate online profiles and personal webpages, aimed to investigate their employees or potential employee candidates and even college admission departments investigating college recruits. Of course, once the deal with Google is fully integrated within MySpace and its spyderbots have fully index-mapped the tens of millions of MySpace accounts, "being discovered" will become easier -- a good thing for emerging artists, a not so good thing for those preferring to stay underground.
All this talk about MySpace these last two years has created a ripple effect of demand for Baby Boomers...a group with a long deep history of saying "Me, too"..."If they can have it, so can I".
Wal-Mart has set up The Hub while Linked In has become an important recruiting network tool for upcoming executives the last several years. Now there is a MySpace-like place for Boomers popping up online, too.
For example, some 300,000 Boomers in recent weeks have logged on to a new website, Eons.com. The site is banking on a digital awakening among recreation-minded boomers and matures, a growing and increasingly active demographic online and everywhere else. Registered users can trade text, images, and audio in total anonymity or with starkly candid, photo-accompanied attribution.
In fact, social networking sites is the #1 reason why the 35-64 year old demographic is quickly becoming the largest user of the Internet, covering everything from dating sites to industry forums to self-expression websites to proudly place their photos of family events.
Even those embarrassing pics of their kids growing up.
Jupiter Research estimates that 62.4 million over-50 adults will be online by 2010. And they just might seek one another out. "The fastest growing group for Internet dating is older people," Gloria Steinem told The New York Times earlier this month.
Hey, if the kids can do it, so can the parents. Teens always think their parents embarrass them, even when teens do enough to embarrass themselves on their own. Now parents have the Internet to promote more "aw, aren't they cute?" moments for rich teen embarrassment.
"What's that...another failing mark in school?" "What, you broke curfew again?" It parental payback, kids. Grounding may not cut it anymore, just wait till parents begin posting the family news on their webpage in their own social network.
Those baby boomers, conniving sometimes, aren't they?
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posted by Chris Kennedy @ Saturday, September 23, 2006,
- At 4:04 PM, The Scribe said...
I'm a baby boomer and have heard about the boomer invasion of My Space, etc. Thanks for the facts here.
The Boomer Chronicles
- At 10:58 PM, www.vtechss.com said...
That would be great, a place where no kids allowed.