Why There Are So Many Old People on Facebook

May 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

You’re never too old to learn. So, I’m reading How We Age: a Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Growing Old  by Marc E. Agronin, M.D.

Dr. Agronin says: “As with the actual process of aging, we can easily miss the hidden strengths that guide and balance a person’s life. Memory slows down, but knowledge and wisdom increase. The loosening of certain neural connections in the brain may enhance creativity. And the failing of physical strength may prompt the need for greater intimacy and companionship with others. Within each problem lies a solution that enables further development.”

Dr. Agronin calls aging a “gift that can be shared across generations.” I think he is referring to the connections and wisdom we develop as we grow older. We connect what is happening to us now with what we have experienced before. And try to make sense of it, and hopefully pass it on.We joke about aging, but do we see it as a gift? Perhaps the gift is passing on the wisdom gleaned through hardship, grief, love and joy.

We derive meaning  and purpose from scanning the “big picture” of our lives, and passing along that wisdom. The Bible says, “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom,” Psalm 90:12 (NKJV). It’s a good time to strengthen our connection to God, and recognize his hand in the connections of our lives. The connections with our friends, many who have spanned a lifetime of experiences with us, take on increased importance.

I’m in the connecting phase now, organizing and documenting the bits of my life. I’m researching the youth of my parents through their writings, and documents. I’m sorting pictures and thinking about what I want to pass on to my children.

And could it be that the reason for the multitudes of older people on Facebook and Twitter, and all the other social media, is that we want to connect, make sense of our personal histories and  enrich our lives through meaningful relationships?

copyright 2011

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