Social media is most commonly associated with millennials, but while people aged 13 to 34 make up more than half of Facebook’s user base, nearly one in six (15.6%) accounts are owned by people aged 55 or older. The rise of the ‘silver surfer’ has well and truly had an effect on social media, and many young Facebook users now have to face the reality that not only are their parents getting to grips with the site, but their grandparents might be too.
Home care company Visiting Angels has commissioned a survey looking at what Facebook users aged 18 to 34 are making of grandma and grandad bridging the two-generation gap and diving into the most popular social media site. If you’re a mature social media user and you want to know what drives your grandkids mad – whether it’s to rein it in or do it even more often and truly play up to the role of embarrassing granny – here are some of the key findings:
Being ‘down with the kids’
Older Facebook users might think that the best way to fit in on social media would be to adopt the lingo, but a proportion or grandkids say they find it all a bit much. One in five get fed up of their grandparents’ overuse of emojis, and 22% find it irksome when they generally “try to act cool”. A particular bugbear brought up was posting entirely in capital letters.
Politics and religion
Often thought to be two subjects best avoided in polite conversation, a third of grandchildren don’t enjoy their old folks’ political rants, or wish they would steer clear of religious topics.
One of the main dislikes of those polled was found to be comments from the grannies on their social life (one in five) or appearance (one in four). A quarter cringe when they see that their own friends are getting friend requests from their grandparents.
Some younger Facebook users find their grandparents to be harbingers of doom online, with one in five wincing at posts about their health or medication, and one in four not keen on seeing them complain of loneliness or unhappiness. A quarter also say their grandparents urge them to visit more via Facebook, creating feelings of guilt.
Reading these criticisms, you’d be forgiven for thinking that youngsters want their grandparents to do nothing but feed the ducks and watch Countdown, so perhaps they should be a little rebellious and just post about whatever they want, remembering that their grandkids can unfollow them if they don’t like it. Despite these quibbles, it’s reassuring that 89% of those asked said they enjoyed their grandparents’ presence on Facebook.