Older Indians Drive Millennials Crazy On WhatsApp. This Is Why They’re Obsessed.

Excerpt from this article:

WhatsApp is now an inextricable part of India’s culture. The app has more than 200 million users in the country, and it’s nearly as large as Facebook’s Indian user base itself. And while it’s widely used by millennials, it’s really older Indians —  people like my mother, her friends, and extended family  —  who’ve embraced it with striking passion and sincerity.

“To my parents, WhatsApp isn’t just an instant messenger,” said Devang Pathak, a 25-year-old writer from Mumbai. “It’s an entire social network. It’s where they catch up with family and friends, it’s where they get their news, and it’s where they watch a ton of videos. They use it so much it scares me.”

Digitally savvy millennials in India post Stories on Instagram, share memes on Facebook, watch videos on YouTube, keep up on Twitter, and chat with each other on Facebook Messenger. But older Indians have incorporated the most compelling features of these platforms right into WhatsApp. Vacation pictures don’t go on Facebook or Instagram, videos don’t go on YouTube, and jokes and wisecracks don’t go on Twitter. For older Indians, WhatsApp is the ultimate social network.

“Honestly, Facebook is a little complex for me,” said my mother. “And it’s not a place where I can reach everyone I care about at once like I can do in a WhatsApp group. And it’s also not, well, private.”

An aunt, who is in her late sixties and who began using WhatsApp about six months ago, is now a notorious serial forwarder. But she likes it for other reasons as well. “It’s my music player,” she said. “People I know send me so many music clips on WhatsApp and I don’t know how to play music on my phone.”

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Google Charmed By Grandma’s Polite Searches

screengrab of google search

Excerpt from this article:

“I asked my nan why she used ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and it seemed she thinks that there is someone — a physical person — at Google’s headquarters who looks after the searches,” he told the BBC.

“She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker.”

…”I thought, well somebody’s put it in, so you’re thanking them,” she told the radio network.

“I don’t know how it works to be honest. It’s all a mystery to me.”

Why Do Older People Love Facebook? Let’s Ask My Dad

Excerpt from this article (and there’s a cute story at the end about a grandpa who comments LOL on everything because he thinks it means “lots of love”):

…He successfully avoided social media for years. But after returning home to Indiana from my wedding a couple of months ago, he wanted to be better at keeping in touch with family and with the friends he remembers from my childhood. He told me over Facebook chat (naturally) that his curiosity about what others were up to was his main motivator in finally learning to navigate Facebook.

Now, like the rest of us, he’s hooked. He’s had a ball wishing happy birthday to my friends, commenting on our status updates and sharing his own life’s highlights. He still signs comments with his initials, but he’s learning. He has even joined a Facebook group for local music enthusiasts, sharing memories about his favorite concert (The Beatles in 1964) and photos of his drum set.

“Initially, I think I viewed it as something ‘newfangled’ that only the younger computer-generation used,” he said. “Then, like probably everybody, I started to become hooked as I saw just how expansive it is, and how much it seems to literally touch so many lives.”

The findings might not come as any surprise to countless members of the digital-savvy generations who have watched (and cringed) as their parents fell in love with Facebook, but researchers say the online lives of older adults, who are a part of the fastest-growing demographic on social media, are much more mysterious than the much-scrutinized behaviors of younger generations.

Grandparents Keep Accidentally Tagging Grandmaster Flash In Facebook Posts And It’s Completely Adorable

Excerpt from this article:

When you type a Facebook status, suggestions are made to auto-tag other users. When you start typing “grandma”, it often suggests tagging the seminal hip-hop artist Grandmaster Flash.

As a result, visiting the Posts to Page section on his Facebook page reveals a large number of grandparents posting on it.