Analyzing: Orenstein, NY Times

In such a high-tech generation, it seems nearly impossible to get by without using technology or social media. In an article written for the New York Times, Peggy Orenstein writes about how social media, such as Facebook, may be altering the way the way children grow and develop into adults. Orenstein mentions that she has six nieces going into college, in which all of them “will hang onto that “home” button” (NY Times, 2009), where they will be more hooked on Facebook than anything else to be able to connect to others.

Orenstein’s purpose for writing this article is to address how the different generations are beginning to become more tech-literate at an earlier age. Orenstein states that there has been a 276% increase of Facebook users between the ages of 35 to 54, which brings them to 7 million users, while there are 25,000 Facebook users that are 25 years old or younger. Peggy Orenstein finds that she and many others in her generation stay on Facebook for longer amount of hours because of a past they are digging up, but points out that it cannot be the same case for those who are 25 years or younger. This excerpt of the article should make readers want to think: ‘why do we spend so much time on the internet?’

The main claim made in this article is to point out that these upcoming generations are, as the title says, Growing Up on Facebook. As mentioned, there are so many young Facebook users, but what exactly do they spend their online time on? Through the years, on a chart she provides, the number of hours an individual stays online goes up to as long as 3 to 4 hours online for those who were 25 to 35 years of age. She also claims that because of those who are younger in age, they should not have much of a past to look back at.

The audience includes the general public, specifically those who may be Facebook users, since many can probably relate to the title. The audience can be parallel to that of the stats she provides, and can be targeted from young adults to those who are more mature in age. The strongest strategy that I found the author to be the most beneficial was her use of statistics. She mentions the 7 millions users that are 35 to 54, the 25 million that are 25 years of age or younger, and a clear and simple chart that illustrates the number of average hours an individual spends online. The tone of the writer is quite laid back and somewhat easy to understand. In terms of the structure of the essay, I felt that many of the paragraphs could have been cut in half and included more details as she was trying to reach her main point. One thing that would be very useful would be more information as to why the older generation is beginning to spend more and more time on Facebook.