Daddy’s On Facebook

Facebook Is Not Just For Gen Xer's

Feb 12, 2011 by

My father turned 82 in January. He doesn’t really need anything, but I wanted to get his some kind of gift. I opted to give him his own Facebook page. Dad doesn’t use a computer, so I used my own PC to create him an account.

First I created the Facebook account. Then I invited my siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins to “friend” Dad. I also invited a few of Dad’s friends and former neighbors. Not many of his old friends are still living. Fortunately, he still stays in touch with his high school girlfriend and she happened to have a Facebook account. I had to call her on the phone to get her Facebook name because she goes by the name her grandchildren call her. Gramma Mimi is Dad’s oldest Facebook Friend, but she’d be upset if I revealed her age.

I let all the friends know that I was making the initial contact. And I asked everyone to post birthday greetings so he’d have a nice surprise. He has ­­­­42 Facebook friends and almost everyone sent birthday wishes. Several of his grandchildren posted photos of themselves and their children for a special treat.

As an 82-year-old Facebook user, Dad is a member of an elite group. Only two percent of Facebook’s users are men age 55 or older. That’s a whopping 3 million men in the U.S. Can you imagine how small the group of men 75+ is?

How did Dad react? He was definitely surprised! Dad was pleased with the greetings, although I sensed that he prefers for family members to call to wish him happy birthday. He especially enjoyed the photographs, particularly those of his great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. He didn’t know who some of the cousins are.

Dad really liked the old photos of himself that I had posted  and the ones that were still scattered across my desk, waiting to be scanned. “Here’s a picture of me taken 70 years ago,” he said, picking up a tiny photo of a blond-haired boy wearing a crisp white shirt and overalls. “I went to the fair by myself that day. I was 12. I got four of this pictures made in a machine for a dime.”

I’m just thrilled that he has such a great memory. That’s something several of my friends wish they could say about their aging parents.

Viewing his wall, Dad was distracted by the advertisements on the right side of the wall. There was one for a nursing home! Like an elderly man would willingly check himself in to a nursing home? Really!

What interests OctoDad most about FB?!! The photos. He really enjoyed getting photos of his granddaughter, Sabrina, and her children and her two grandchildren! Most of all, he likes the photos of himself. In addition to those I posted on Dad’s FB page, I have photos of him scattered all over my desk. I’m trying to get them all scanned so I can share with my siblings. It’s like Memory Lane for Dad. But this fellow isn’t finished. He’s making me take NEW photos to post today.

He’s like a little kid. Look at me!

We’ve posted a few comments and photos since Dad’s birthday, but he has lost interest. At first he wanted to buy a laptop and sign up for a computer course at the senior center. But he talked himself out of that because he doesn’t get the point of Facebook and he doesn’t want to hang around with the old people at the senior center.

He did enjoy dressing up and going out to lunch at a nice restaurant to celebrate his birthday.

Dad has no interest in Twitter and I haven’t convinced him to write his own blog. But I’m going to start videotaping him and maybe we’ll put up a videoblog in time for his next birthday.

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Maggie Buerger Has Written 1 Articles For Us!

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  1. Julie Compann

    Love it! What a special treat you created for your Dad. You designed the perfect platform for his grands, his great-grands, and other family members to communicate with him and this will become priceless down the road…for everyone, not just Dad. One event won’t hold his attention for sure, but additional holiday and special event postings will become an wonderful time for him. Your Dad will eventually come into the realization that this is on-going and he can see view it all on your computer a couple of times a season. You are a sweet and special person!

  2. This is wonderful….definitely do the video taping, it will be so awesome for everyone!

  3. admin

    Maggie – What a wonderful birthday treat not only for your dad but for your family, especially the kids. Now he can say that he’s part of social media history!

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