Facebook & The Elderly

Got an email from Perry Marshall (the Google Adwords marketing guru) today: (note: I’ve added my own comments in italics)

Yesterday I heard from a very reliable source that Facebook has triggered a sea change in the nursing home industry. This comes from a client of one of my business mentors.

The #1 reason people die is their friends have died and their family doesn’t visit them anymore, and they have no more reason to get up in the morning. I’m sure all of us have visited long-term care facilities and seen the blank stares and hopelessness of aged people living out their last days.  Guess its based on the “will to live” concept.

Facebook has changed that. There are many, many 77 year old folks in nursing homes who now have 60 Facebook friends and interact with them on an hourly basis. This is literally extending life spans – to the point of wreaking havoc in the long-term care industry.

This is because many of the payment models are based on people living only so long and their communities on Facebook are literally extending their lives.

(It’s also creating some interesting social gaffes. Like after a person dies their friends are still getting reminders:  “You haven’t reached out to Ethel for awhile. Send her a note. Click here to POKE Ethel.”) Small price to pay for having them around longer and happier.

It’s also obliterating illiteracy. Kids might be able to fake reading books in school, but they can’t fake writing comments on their friends’ pages. I seriously believe that within 5 years, nearly every single kid in the developed world will be able to read, write and type – because of Facebook.  Spelling and grammar I’m sure will still be an issue, but its a start

Within 10 years, the same will be true in developing countries – because of mobile phones. I heard of a video of men with pickaxes in Rwanda digging 6 foot trenches for fiber optic cable. Rwanda is rapidly becoming the most wired country in Africa.

To hard-core, driven business types, Facebook might seem like a toy. That’s what most people thought about the Internet 10-12 years ago. It turned out to be something much bigger than that.

 Sounds like good news all the way around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *