Beware: old fart in jeans

old fartAfter much nagging, I have finally opened a profile on Facebook, an experience that succeeded in making me feel thoroughly depressed.
The problem is that, at 41 years old, I feel that I am almost twice the age of the average ad agency executive. The nagging was a response to my epiphany about social networks. Bla bla the future bla bla a place where consumers rule bla bla brands trying to get a look-in.
It was my own fault, really.
The problem lies not in the functionality of Facebook. This isn’t a case of finding a seven year old child to programme the video – it’s a problem with content. After one hour’s study, I conclude that Facebook is childishly simple. Compared to working out the quirks of opening a blog on WordPress, creating a profile on Facebook is easier than sliding on a pair of carpet slippers.
The thing is (and I knew this beforehand), everyone else on the network is so bloody young. Being nagged by a load of twentysomethings to “go on Facebook” rapidly made me feel like being the honorary grandad at a student disco. Having faffed around on it for a short while, I did find a few dozen acquaintances (obviously, there are quite a few people I know on my company Facebook group), but the need to “poke” (the language of Facebook) them in order to get them to acknowledge you as a “friend” feels, like asking that teenager for a dance, so wrong.


8 Responses to “Beware: old fart in jeans”

  1. 1 Jon Howard (Living Brands) May 29, 2007 at 7:50 am

    Feel just the same (at 41 as well) having been forced to sign up. Maybe there’s need for an ‘old farts in advertising’ group!

  2. 2 Will May 31, 2007 at 10:30 am

    I think the line to stop that thinking is – ‘You’re as old as the woman you feel’.

    So don’t you worry.. all sorts of people are online.

    The truly scary thing is when people’s parents come onto it, and add their kids. Moderation taken to the next level.

  3. 3 Amelia Torode June 4, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I am a bit younger than you and Jon but at 32 worried that I was too old. But it’s just brilliant and I think totally transcends age. I have so many groups that I am now part of and have started some fun ones too. Start up at 40-something in advertising, you may find that there are more people than you think!

  4. 4 oldvic June 5, 2007 at 8:15 am

    That’s not a bad idea…

  5. 5 Amelia Torode June 5, 2007 at 8:39 am

    Rory Sutherland would be up for it I’m sure!

    There is a fun group Unlike 99.9% of the Facebook Population I was born in the 70s

  6. 6 neilperkin June 13, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Today I finally also relented and yielded to the evil power of facebook. Looks like the numbers of old farts are swelling, but alas I don’t work in an ad agency so can’t join your OF group (unless that is I have special dispensation from the founder?)

  7. 7 oldvic June 14, 2007 at 8:56 am

    You are a marketing big fish, so I’d say that still counts.

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Self-important bit

I’m Victor Houghton, a, er... something or other in one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. My job title has a comma in it, which is embarrassing. I’m the chief finder-things-outer with a splash of trends who is lucky to work with all the major functions of the agency, even though I am most closely associated with strategic planning. Everything in this blog has most probably been stolen from other, infinitely more talented people, although the opinions are most definitely my own and not those of the agency.



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