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Research shows adults are taking over social-networking sites

Research shows adults are taking over social-networking sites



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Teens, make some room for your parents at the computer. Research says adults are slowly taking over social networking sites.

Guys like Pete Codella with Codella Marketing have had accounts on Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn for a long time. "I started to connect with the younger people that I knew, like the kids of my friends, so to speak. But lately, I would say in the past six months or so, all their parents have come on board," he said.

Recent findings from the Pew Research Center back Codella up. They say the percentage of adults who have profiles on at least one social-networking site has skyrocketed to 35 percent, up from only 8 percent in 2005.

Codella is also the program director for the Social Media Club of Salt Lake City, which helps people learn how to use these sites wisely. "Yes, there's this connection virtually, and then it's strengthened when you meet face-to-face," he said.

The group held their first meeting just last week. He expected roughly 30 people to show up, but nearly 80 people actually did.

"The general makeup of [age ranges at] Social Media Club gatherings tends to range between 25 and 40 [years old]," said Kristie Wells, president of National Social Media Club.

Wells founded the organization in San Francisco in 2006. She says people who attend their clubs are normally people who are in the workforce, not "teenyboppers," per se. "It started out being mostly marketing and PR and communication professionals. We're now seeing teachers and attorneys and doctors," Wells said.

But the young still rule these social Web sites for now. The Pew Research Center says 75 percent of people between 18 and 24 years old use them.

So, are kids worried MySpace and Facebook won't be as cool now that mom and dad are on it? Some actually are.

One University of Utah student says, "A lot of people don't interact with their friends in a way they would want their parents to see. I have friends who have had their parents join Facebook, and they feel awkward about it."

The Social Media Club of Salt Lake City meets the third Thursday of every month. In February, they'll meet at Neutron Interactive at 224 S. 200 West.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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Paul Nelson

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