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Moms in their 50s are using Facebook just like the rest of us are, with one major difference: the ages of our kids.
Ever since Facebook graduated from college, the average user age has gone up -- and up and up. According to Inside Facebook, as of last year the fastest growing group of Facebook users was women over the age of 55.
There are a million ways Facebook can entertain any mom of any age: online games, staying informed about politics and local news, hilarious apps, and of course the running commentary from your FB friends. In addition to the good time Facebook has to offer all moms, here are some tips for using Facebook when you're over 50.
Should I Friend My Kids?
*No. Just don't do it. If your child is over the age of 13 (the minimum age requirement for Facebook), they're old enough to have some private space. Also, try to remember what it was like for you when your mom sang along to your favorite rock song in the car. Yeah.
Your kids need to feel ownership with their cultural choices. Don't be a buzz-kill on their social networking party. Especially if you have kids in college. Plus, you really don't want to see spring break photos. Really.
Don't friend your kid, but do check out his activity every now and then, and that of his friends. This requires some restraint once you start scanning status updates. You may think certain language or topics are off-limits, but remember kids need freedom to express themselves in many different ways -- including ways you don't approve. Don't interfere unless you see photos or a conversation that veers into dangerous territory including drug use, bullying, or sexual misconduct.
Also, if you do have a child under the age of 13, do a FB search for his name and his friends' names every now and then to make sure they aren't secretly online.
Make sure you know how to set your privacy settings on Facebook, and your child is equally informed.
Keep Your Affiliations Up-to-Date
One of the best (or worst, depending on your POV) functions of Facebook is reconnecting with people from your past. Whether it's high school or that job you held for a few years in your mid-20s, it's a lot of fun to virtually bump into someone you never thought you would see again. Don't forget to include all of those schools, organizations, and universities. You never know who is going to pop up from your elementary school.
*The Friending Your Kid Exception
If you had children when you were super-young, you may be on the grandchildren track. If so, absolutely friend your kids! How else are you going to get the instant photo and status updates about what baby is doing today? There's nothing like logging on and getting a load of your grandbaby at last night's spaghetti supper. One caveat -- before you share the pictures of the grandkids (I know, you're super-proud!), ask his parents. Your daughter-in-law might not want the photos distributed to the world wide web.
For any FB newcomer, the games can be a time-suck like no other. If you find yourself in front of your screen at 1 a.m. trying to get some more pigs for your virtual farm -- it's time for a Facebook detox.
Lost loves are a common theme on Facebook, but make sure you're focusing on your real life love off-screen. Once you plug in your high school information, surely your sweetheart will be the next invite you receive in your inbox. Just make sure you keep your head on straight when reconnecting with former flames. Even if it's your college crush who finally admits years later that he always had a thing for you.
Of course, if you're single, go for it! In fact, one of the best ways to find out about a potential date when you're single is to check out their FB profile. Facebook can be your own private detective before you jump back into the dating pool. Just remember to draw the line at stalking.
What's your favorite thing to do on Facebook, over 50s?
Image via dan taylor/Flickr