Are you too old for social media?

That’s the question I heard this morning on the radio while on my way to the airport. I couldn’t believe that after the tremendous growth social media has enjoyed in recent years (and especially in the last year with the advent of Twitter) people still see it as a fad, as “the thing kids are doing.” In fact, callers suggested that people over 40 should be banned from social media.

Here’s a newsflash to all those silly people – social media is not a fad. It’s a communication tool which will forever change human interactions around the world.

Here are some telling Facebook stats in Australia:

– There are an estimated 6.1 million users registered in Australia. (I got the Facebook stats by setting up an ad in Facebook which lets you progressively narrow down your target audience by entering various parameters. If you select all Australian accounts, you get just over 6.1 million)

– Of those, 2.8 million are over 30 and 1.4 million are over 40.

– According to Comscore, 3 out of 4 Australians visited a social networking site in 2009.

There’s no doubt that the world is becoming smaller as we all gain access to each other via social networks. Despite all the possible negative fallout this may have (relationships deteriorating, less face-to-face time, dependency on technology), I think this is great – for all ages!

Thanks to social media families separated by thousands of miles can stay connected, consumers can be more informed, politicians can relate to their constituents, just to mention a few benefits. Social media is not a fad. It’s a new communication tool just as the phone, telegraph or email were before it.

So here’s a message to all you delusional under 30’s who want to keep Facebook, etc., a stomping ground for teenagers and young singles – get over it!

Here’s the latest Australian social media data from Comscore, which shows just how active Australians are on social networks. Definitely NOT a fad!

Here are the top social networks used in Australia:

Top social networks in Australia as of June 2009

8,857,000 Total unique visitors to social networks

6,102,000 Facebook

3,530,000 MySpace

1,962,000 Windows Live profile

1,475,000 Bebo

800,000 Twitter

505,000 Deviantart.com

494,000 Digg.com

475,000 Tagged.com

409,000 Buzznet

252,000 Orkut