Wolfram|Alpha Confirms All Our Ageist Stereotypes


Via Andrew Sullivan, Stephen Wolfram reports on the results of the Wolfram|Alpha Personal Analytics for Facebook project. Basically, it’s an analysis of a million Facebook users, and the vast bulk of Wolfram’s post is about the basic demographics of their sample space. It turns out, for example, that Facebook users tend to be fairly young, and the younger they are the more friends they have. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most of you.

But some of it is interesting. It’s impossible to tell how representative Wolfram’s sample is of the broad Facebook universe, let alone the population at large, but let’s forget about that for now. This is a blog, not a peer-reviewed journal. So with that in mind, here are some excerpts showing how certain topics trend with age:

Yep: old people really are tedious bores. As you get older, your Facebook updates tend to move away from interesting stuff like careers, music, and technology, and instead focus on political rants, stupid life affirming sayings, and the weather. On the bright side, old people tend to talk less about fashion, relationships, and their personal mood. All in all, it’s kind of a wash. It turns out we’re all tedious bores, we just like to bore our friends on different topics as we get older.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.