Would you accept their friend requests?

Ryne DiPerna

Not all folks in the popular

Photo Illustration by Daniel Doherty.

Credit: DKS Editors

Much like dorm rooms, beer pong and Ultimate Frisbee, having a Facebook account has become a basic part of the college experience. But, according to the popular social networking site’s own statistics, the fastest growing demographic on the site is those older than age 30.

In late 2006, the company opened access to anyone 13 and older. Facebook’s membership now expands well beyond the college world.

“I like it because sometimes I don’t have enough to say to fill up an entire e-mail when I want to talk to friends,” said 31-year-old Melissa Ziminsky, a Kent State alumna. “The wall feature makes it easier to keep in touch with people.”

Ziminsky created her Facebook account when a friend from college invited her to join. From there she added more friends, and gradually became more involved with the site. Although she likes most of the features of the Web site, she “can’t see using it five years into the future.”

Sarah Wilsman, a children’s librarian at the Kent Free Library, said she first started using Facebook a year ago while working at the Shaker Heights Public Library.

“We were assigned a project by the library to familiarize ourselves with all the social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.”

However, Wilsman said she uses Facebook for more than just cyber-stalking.

“I think that it was designed for college students, but people in their 40s like me use it as a networking tool. I connect with other librarians and with classmates from my past who are now professionals,” Wilsman said. “My Kenyon (College) class is having its 20th reunion this spring and the whole thing is being organized on Facebook.”

While most of those older than 30 who use Facebook do so for solely social purposes, some use the social networking site as a high-tech private eye. Sophomore journalism major Lauren Mazza thinks twice about what she posts on her Facebook profile.She knows that at any minute her mother could be watching.

Mazza said that her mom uses Facebook to create fake accounts in order to take a closer look at her daughter’s social life at Kent State.

“I figured it out when I went on her computer to log onto Facebook,” Mazza said. “When I clicked in the (drop-down username login) her e-mail address came up.”

She used a name that Mazza was familiar with in order to add her as a friend. Then, Mazza’s mom added pictures to the profile from Google images. As a finishing touch, she created several more fake accounts in order to have realistic posts on the wall of the fake profile.

“I got in trouble for a Halloween costume,” Mazza said, in disgust.

Contact student life reporter Ryne DiPerna at [email protected]..