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Are You Old If You Can Still Facebook Someone?

Gertrude Baines, the oldest person in the world from January to September of 2009. Photo by John Rabe

I try not to let the moderately right-leaning U.S. News and World Report tip me off to anything other than where to go to school, but today it hips me to a new study from the Pew Research Center that says social network use doubled among Americans aged 50 to 64, from 25 percent about a year and a half ago to 47 percent now. 86 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds have an account on Facebook, LinkedIn, or (people still use that shit?) MySpace.

Unfortunately, USNWR tells me that represents an increase in social networking use among “Senior Citizens.” Now in my early 40s, I’d like to smack any in the face any schlub who calls a 50-year-old a “senior citizen.” No discredit to senior citizens — God love you and that Jack Nicholson cats you all seem to dig so much — but if you’re not cashing a Social Security check and you can’t get a discounted meal at Denny’s, you’re not a senior citizen, are we all, as old fogies, agreed on that fact?

A “related post” tag brings up the publication’s defense of the idea that nobody knows WTF a senior citizen is, the same tired-ass crap that says “you’re old when you feel old,” by which argument I would have been a senior citizen in 1988, the first time a college Freshman asked me who the Velvet Underground was. Thanks douchebags, you just shaved about fifteen years off my life and now you’re shrugging. That’s really helpful.

The good news is that Gertrude Baines, pictured above, who died at 115 in September, 2009, has a cryptically-weird Facebook page that sounds utterly bot-generated. Cruz Hernandez, the Salvadoran woman believed to be 128 when she “ate a tamale, drank some milk, went to bed and never woke up” back in 1997, probably did not. But Eugenie Blanchard, currently the world’s oldest verified person at 114, has exactly the same type of bot-tastic Facebook page as Ms. Baines.

The question is: If you die, but still have a Facebook page, have you really died?

More importantly, if you’re alive, but you have a Facebook page, are you really alive?

The answer, in both cases, of course, is that it’s up to Facebook. They just bought you, so you better hope they don’t pull the plug.

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  1. Ott
    September 2nd, 2010 at 04:38 | #1

    Really those are very important questions that facebook need to answer. Funny article…

  1. September 4th, 2010 at 19:54 | #1