Data Shows Generations Set to Meet on MySpace
> 7/18/2007 8:26:33 AM

A new report has found that nearly half the users of networking websites such as and are between the ages of 35 and 54. This, according to research obtained by comScore, the leading Internet research company. According to the results, nearly 70 percent of Myspace users were 25 years or older and visitors ages 35 to 54 accounted for over 40 percent of the data base's users, a number that has been steadily increasing.

New York based CBS news quoted Mark Suillvan, of PC World Magazine as saying:

"(Parents) simply want to swim in the same water as their kids".

And this couldn't be more true for mother April Beyer, who was also quoted by CBS News.

"I can definitely understand why the kids get hooked. I'm hooked on it myself. It's an easy way to find people that you went to high school with, people that you may have lost touch with".

While the men and women behind these websites must be ecstatic about their expanding user base, younger users might feel like parents and other older-folk are horning in on their fun. The implications of parent-child interactions in cyber-space and reverberations on real-world relationships have yet to be fully seen.

This new evidence shows for the first time how quickly older demographics, typically slower to adopt new technologies, are catching on to the social networking fun. It's important that parents continue to be aware of the children's activities online, but it is also important to allow them time to explore on their own. Just as an adolescent might be bothered by an overly nosy parent who interferes in school situations, it's easy to see how a parent that constantly "checks-in" on their child's MySpace page could be seen as over-bearing. When exploring the Internet, parents need to establish ground rules and boundaries for children. It's good to be aware and foster open dialogue about issues raised by web exploration, but at the same time being too controlling can lead to secrecy and inappropriate use that takes place out of sight. It's a step in a positive direction to have more people, and potentially more families, interacting online. Parents just need to understand that they might end up finding out things about their children that they didn't need to know or want to know. It's a brave new world.

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