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July 19, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Parents learn to like, poke and stalk


“Pretty concerning”, “intrusive”, “limiting” and “decreasing a degree of privacy” were just some student reactions to a new notification that parents could be their next Faceboook friend request.

Statistics show that older Kiwis are joining social networking websites more than any other age group in New Zealand.

New research reveals that more than half of New Zealanders aged over 55 have joined up to social networking websites such as Facebook in the past year, an increase from only 20 per cent in 2007. Specialist Facebook groups that cater to this audience are attracting numerous fans, with the group ‘Born in the 60s, any of us out there?’ boasting 24,084 members.

However, for those who can’t join ‘Unlike 99.99% of the Facebook Population, I was born in the 50s’, the trend means that more parents, and potentially even grandparents, may be signing up to create internet profiles.

Students spoken to by Salient who had a parent or relative on Facebook were often reluctant to share their pages with them.

Several first-year students voiced concerns about parents knowing what they were doing through the photos and content on their Facebook pages.

Other students felt secure in having their parents as friends on Facebook.

Some students even found Facebooking parents to be a positive thing, as it was a convenient way to stay up to date and in contact.

Whether students like the new status or not, parents and Facebook looks set to be combination that will continue to grow.

Seniornet executive officer Grant Sidaway says that with initiatives like workshops for older people, their attraction to the internet is a “natural phenomena”.

Retired 72-year-old Jo Fletcher is extremely positive about her experiences with online social networking.

“You feel like you’re in a little clubroom.”


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