Social media trends: Baby Boomers

Social media trends are producing something for everyone.  From runners to doctors to smurf lovers, the social media trend of niche marketing is encouraging the creation of websites for anyone who can get their hands on a computer with Internet access.  This includes the Baby Boomer generation.  They've likely dabbled in Facebook, though it is probably to 'keep up with' (read: spy on) their children; not many other otherwise very popular social media websites are trendy with this age group.  (They don't, for example, report excessive Twitter use).  In fact, most users of this generation report employing Facebook to 'keep in touch with their kids' and/or only log on if an email notifies them of activity on their profile page.

But, Baby Boomers are just as relational as the rest of us - it seems that social connection is hard-wired into us as human beings.  Thus, they are taking an interest in social media. Perhaps an even deeper reason this generation is exploring social media, albeit cautiously, is because the recent economic challenges have hit them especially hard.  Embarrassment over losing jobs, whole life savings, houses, even, in too many cases, everything has locked many mid-lifers into silence and isolation from their peers.

A Facebook for Fiftysomethings, is brand new online community that, as their web page advertises, "empowers members (people in their target age group of 'about 55') to move forward via self-renewal, self-growth and celebration."  This site was created with the extenuating circumstances of the Baby Boomer generation in mind, and its aim is to help alleviate some of the stress of these difficult times by bringing like-minded, and like-situated people together.

Unlike Facebook, however, About55 has a stated purpose of facilitating off-line relationships.  According to its business plan, About55 "brings together and matches the needs of members who are seeking self-renewal resources with experts who can deliver career, life, and relationship coaching.  [Their} solution is a social marketplace that fulfills both the needs of the buyer and the targeted audience sought by the sellers."

Those that aren't or who are steering clear of Facebook altogether might actually be interested in About55, issues of privacy notwithstanding.  Privacy is always an issue online, and so, the less a user posts online, the less likely privacy is to be invaded.  At least the social media trend of niche forming is all-inclusive.  The advantage, though, is that About55 aims to offer a vibrant support network for those fifty-somethings struggling in the severe economic climate.  While Facebook is becoming more and more like a business, About55 hopes to present to its users a supportive well of information and relationships to bolster confidence, bring encouragement and, ultimately, provide healing.

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