A few years ago, The Onion did a story titled "Google Launches 'The Google' For Older Adults," in which a spokesman explained, "All you have to do to turn the website on is put the little blinking line thing in the cyberspace window at the top of the screen, type 'thegoogle.com,' and press 'return'—although it will also recognize http.wwwthegoogle.com, google.aol, and 'THEGOOGLE' typed into a Word document." But it looks like our elders may be getting more interweb savvy:
Now, this is among people already online in some way, but it's nevertheless pretty remarkable. A quarter of all Internet users over 65 are on social-networking sites, and nearly half of those over 50. That's probably mostly Facebook, but Twitter is gaining in popularity among mature Americans: "One in ten (11%) online adults ages 50-64 and one in twenty (5%) online adults ages 65 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others."
I look forward to Twitter-based viral marketing campaigns for Viagra and Lipitor any day now.
-- Paul Waldman