If you’re on the Internet, as you know, you’re a nerdy loser with no social skills.

However, according to an article in the New York Times, some senior citizens who have little opportunity to interact with people are finding social networking sites such as Facebook help them stay engaged with the world.

The average age of my Facebook friends appears to be mid-30s, but I can certainly see how it might be beneficial to the housebound elderly. Indeed, social networking is useful to all manner of marginalized populations

(And even the shy: I met my first partner on Usenet, years ago, which indirectly led to meeting my current partner on LiveJournal in 2004.)

A quote I’ve always treasured is “on the Internet, everything and nothing is normal.” This was meant as a dig at people who try to outweird each other (and at people into freaky-ass shit who take refuge in the fact that there are others like them, as though finding a community of phryneroticists makes doing toads not be weird.) But there’s also a positive side. It is useful for making people feel less alone, and gives people who feel stigmatized—e.g., by illness or old age—a place to find their fellows and interact with their peers.

(I could have written about orgasms, but no. In my defense, that would inevitably led to my talking about my sex life, and neither of us wants that.)

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