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Alabamians 50+ Going Virtual

The Facebook homepage appears on a computer screen

— Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Alabamians age 50-plus without a Facebook page should know it’s probably only a matter of time. A survey released by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that social media users ages 50-64 grew 88 percent in a one-year period, from 25 percent in April 2009 to 47 percent in May 2010. Use among those ages 65 and older grew 100 percent, from 13 percent to 26 percent.

AARP Executive Council member Connie Walden is among those with a Facebook page, and she said she likes the multi-generational appeal of the site.

“I use Facebook to stay in touch with everyone from former school mates to grandchildren, and the many professional acquaintances and friends I’ve made in between,” Walden said.

AARP Alabama State Director Joan Carter said she noticed a marked increase in users among volunteers at a recent meeting,

“A year ago, when I asked for a show of hands of those volunteers with Facebook pages, the response was tepid, at best. When we asked the same question this year, the majority of the audience members raised their hands,” Carter said.

The Pew survey reflected that growth, finding that 20 percent of online adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, doubling from 10 percent one year ago. Thirteen percent of adults 65-plus log on to a social networking site on a typical day, up from 4 percent in 2009.

“Alabamians are aging with technology-in-hand,” Carter said.

To meet the increased interest in social media from Alabamians, AARP has launched an Alabama Facebook fan page where AARP members and volunteers can receive regular updates on activities and news of interest. Visit the page and become a fan.

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