Wolfram|Alpha Confirms All Our Ageist Stereotypes

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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