This isn’t really a Disney article but the inspiration for it came from an article about Lee Cockerell, retired Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. He is 66 years old and an avid user of Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. He is not alone in that respect, as the article states social network usage by those of us 65 years and older went from 13% in April 2009 to 26% in May of 2010. That is the time frame during which I started using both Facebook and Twitter.
These networks are a wonderful resource for keeping in touch with family and friends and an outstanding way to renew old friendships. They are also a way to meet people with common interests and do professional networking as well. One thing I have found on Facebook is that people of different age groups who don’t normally “hang out” together on a face to face social level do so with ease in an online social networking situation. It is also surprising just how many of us old folks are out there doing the Facebook and Twitter thing. My Facebook “friends” list is a rather modest 91 people but in counting heads I found that 38 of them are my age or older. They also range in age from 19 to 78, a pretty broad spectrum. The life experience range goes from college students to metal workers to middle managers to retired business owners to teachers to upper managers to maintenance workers etc. etc. etc. We certainly can’t forget the young (mostly), wonderful blogging geeks I write with at Chip and Company. Yes it is a varied group and I won’t delve deeply into the very varied political leanings of all my Facebook friends except to say that there as many on the far right as there are on the far left with a good sized group in the middle (and we don’t hate each other).
There are other things that come from these networking sites as well. A friend of mine and I have put together a list of high school classmates with names, addresses, phones, and e-mails with a huge amount of help from Facebook and other sites like it. There are 105 people on the list out of a class of 328 – remember, we graduated 46 years ago. I send out updates every month to everyone on the list so we can all stay in touch. One more benefit, because of social networking sites I was able to get together with 2 high school classmates and a 3rd grade girlfriend on our last visit to Walt Disney World. I had not seen any of them in 40+ years; it was a wonderful experience.
The answer to the original question – yes, we do use Facebook and other social networking site for lots of varied reasons. They are fun and informative as well as useful if approached properly. There are always dangers but by limiting the information you put on the sites, major issues can be avoided. As always, when you go to Walt Disney World, enjoy your visit!!
- Disney, Gowalla Deliver the Magic of Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, In a New Way (chipandco.com)
- Top Ten Disney Tips I Learned This Year (chipandco.com)