Larry King Shrugs Off Spread of Social Media
In the bespectacled eyes of broadcasting fixture Larry King, who’s signing off from his CNN talk show in December, social media is a modern-day fixture that you just can’t fight—a view that doesn’t quite mesh with the behavior of a considerable segment of his senior citizen counterparts.
Offering his take on the current state of social media, the 77-year-old King told the Las Vegas Sun:
“It’s like owning a grocery store when AM/PM started. Or having a horse and buggy when cars came out. You can’t do anything about it. It’s so spread out, and I’m not sure if the journalism is better. There’s more of it, and everybody’s a journalist now. But it forges more rumors, more hearsay, and everybody’s a blogger.”
King confessed that his CNN producers manage his Twitter account, @kingsthings, which has nearly 1.8 million followers. Another member of the King family is a social media hound, however. King—who professed his love for old-fashioned newspapers—called his wife, Shawn, “a Twitter freak.”
Although King is a social media doubter, some of his fellow senior citizens are embracing social media.
A report released in 2009 by eMarketer.com found that 36 percent of Americans age 63 to 75 maintained a profile on a social media site, with Facebook being the most popular site. From April 2009 to May 2010, use of social media among Americans age 65 and older grew 100 percent—from 13 percent to 26 percent, according to a survey commissioned by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Mary Madden, senior research specialist at Pew, said in a news release: “Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”Continued on the next page