Several weeks into the it seems clear to me the value of Mastodon is not that it is a Twitter replacement, but that it is a gateway technology to decentralization. Mastodon has flaws, I'm not claiming it's perfect, but many criticisms I've seen stem from expecting centralized services from a decentralized structure. It's up to us to try and explain the differences and set expectations for what alternative services can look like.

To this extent I'm really interested to know how the age breakdown of people on the . On one hand it would seem to make sense to me that most people here remember the "old internet" before the centralization and they're here to rekindle that flame of independence. On the other hand the youths are generally pretty up on this whole technology thing. I grew up on the internet and since then smartphones have become even more ubiquitous.

(Please boost for reach)

@mcneely Most are 41-60?!! I wasn’t expecting that! Cool, that is my group (but not for long, unfortunately)!

@tlsmith63 @mcneely I'm in that category until Weds. Then I move up to 60+ so I voted for 60+.

@tlsmith63 Im not *that* surprised considering a large part of the influx is academics and journalists. Not exactly groups that skew young.

@mcneely @tlsmith63 well all academics and journos were once young academics and Journos… right?

@mcneely @Htaggert @tlsmith63 It’s people who had access to Usenet and other tools that worked on similar logic to the Fediverse so the learning curve is flatter. The barrier for entry is a lot higher than it was for Twitter.

@randimason @mcneely @Htaggert @tlsmith63

If you remember Usenet from your 20's, before it was relentlessly spammed (and pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter), Mastodon likely makes a lot of sense to you, and you are likely in the 41-60 (or better) age group. (As am I.)

@cfclark @randimason @mcneely @tlsmith63 I really don’t! I remember computers coming into vogue in grad school - but no one owned one and we all had to go to a computer lab to type papers… it was such a social hub…

@tlsmith63 @mcneely I'll be out of that group in exactly 5 months.

@tlsmith63 @mcneely I was actually suspecting this. Mastodon is the most GenX thing I've seen since the 90s.

@dubikan @tlsmith63 @mcneely As a Gen Xer I remember the IRC days. I'm thoroughly enjoying meeting others with similar interests and new interests that I'm curious about.

@princelysum @mcneely @tlsmith63 @dubikan Gen X was born ~1965-1980, so they’re in their 40s and 50s. Millennials are in their late 20s to early 40s.

@pjie2 @princelysum @mcneely @tlsmith63 @dubikan I think my son manages to be 3 gens younger than me. (I'm lateish X, Mike is early Millennial, we skip Z and Matthew is Alpha)

@lnr @pjie2 @princelysum @mcneely @tlsmith63 @dubikan when I read Generation X I was told I wasn't in it but apparently I am now.

@lnr @ailbhe @pjie2 We've managed to get one each of Boomer, GenX, Millennial, and Zoomer, I think. (63, 70, 93, 00 - both of us got a child as 30th birthday present.)

@dubikan @tlsmith63 @mcneely Perhaps everyone under 40 has only known algorithmic casino platforms, and experiences low-level panic if they’re not being monetised?

@tlsmith63 @mcneely Don't worry, we're all ageing at the same rate so we'll always be your group. You can run, but you can't hide! 😉

@tlsmith63 @mcneely
That's also my group, and most of the people I interact with are clearly younger than I. I have to wonder if there's something skewed by who is seeing this poll?

@mcneely I cheated a bit as I'll move my bracket to 41 in less than a month. 😂

@Jewishreader considering that I just make up these options on the spot I think that's pretty fair. No one is going to mistake me for a demographer!

@Shatter242 @mcneely for once we are the bigger demographic. Interesting. Probably another reason why I really like this platform.

@Shatter242 @mcneely I am a 41 yo millennial 🤷‍♂️. The options are just one year off. Not that it matters - those age cohorts splits are defined for the US and I am not American. On a related note, I suspect that this platform is also less US centric.

@donchev @mcneely and all of your points I consider positives.

We also have a thing now called Xennial for those in the range of 1-2 years that feel like a foot in two gens, and that's cool too.

I'm pretty easy going about all things and ages and country of origin. Echo chambers suck. As long as people are cool and not a fascist, they're usually fine by me. 😊

@mcneely 'the youths are generally pretty up on this whole technology thing'

I try to be careful about the conclusions I drew from that sort of thought. I was talking to someone who teaches computer science at uni and they were saying they've needed to start teaching 1st year students about directory structures because that's not really part of how 'the youths' are interacting with software anymore. It's all searching and curated experiences on smart devices that hide that sort of detail away.

@drV @mcneely

there have been a number of these age surveys tooted recently, in both English and German. One thing that is common to all of them is a *lot* (at least or slightly over half) of Fedi users are Gen X and next to that are Millenials (many of whom are in late 20s or 30s now), and the age range of Fedi users swings a lot older than might be expected for a "cool new thing" (there's a fair few Boomers on here as well, particularly from Northern Europe)

@vfrmedia @drV yeah I'm not really surprised with the results so far actually. Lots of academics and journalists joined lately and those aren't exactly careers that skew young.

Plus if the adults are doing it there's probably a point where that makes it actively uncool to the youths 🙃

@mcneely @vfrmedia @drV I read a toot where a self-confessed "tech-savvy millennial" was concerned that if he found it challenging to get into Mastodon how were GenX+ going to manage?

@vfrmedia @drV @mcneely

Gen Xer and new Mastodon-te here. I’ve been dinking around with tech stuff for fun since 1979, when my grade school put a TRS-80 in the library, and professionally since 1999, when a company thought I knew enough about Web stuff (actively making my own site since 1994 and sites for other people since 1996) to pay me for it.

I’m not surprised there are a lot of Xers here. We hit adulthood just as the Internet was getting big.

@drV @mcneely I have found that unless young people are actually working in tech or at least reasonably interested in it, they often have no clue at all about how things work. They just use it.

@thrashcardiom @drV @mcneely
As a genZ er studying computer science, this is not entirely incorrect.

@drV @mcneely I was at an arcade a few years back. A child of about 10 sat beside me at a racecar game. She couldn't figure out how to interact with the game interface. No matter how much or where she was touching the video screen it wouldn't work for her....

That made me feel really old. It reminded me of that scene in Back to the Future II...if you're in my age range you probably know what I'm talking about!

@taco @drV @mcneely Can confirm, Gen Z and younger have zero arcade literacy and have to be explicitly told money goes in the slot here, press here if coin jams, here's how to even TELL if the coin's jammed, press this button to start etc; nobody showed them and none of it was written down (because why write it down when Everybody Knows) so they just don't know.

The things we don't write down and document because Why Bother Everybody Knows are exactly the things that 20 years later Nobody Knows

@ifixcoinops @taco @drV @mcneely whereas my mam (who can cope with tech, but not intuitively) documents every single possible step.
On moving roles, she would leave behind her (physical) notebook of instructions.
I always told her that she missed her true calling.
Thankfully my 3yr old niece is able to use a mouse as well as a touchscreen and likes the keyboard so much that we are getting her one as a gift.
Any recommendations on keyboards suitable for 4yr olds (can take crumbs, spillages etc)?

@DToher @taco @drV @mcneely We just told ours no food or drink near the computer, but if you see that coming up despite your best efforts I reckon the ideal method is several 50p charity shop keyboards so you can have a couple of backups ready to go. :)

My mam does the same thing. These days uses the computer so rarely that when she turns it on it queues a bunch of updates and when it's finally done the interface has changed for no particular reason. Computers: they're shite

@DToher @ifixcoinops @taco @drV @mcneely My idea is a keyboard cover but I don't know how practical that would actually be for a 4yo — my 3yo would have a lot of fun taking it off and playing with it!

You could also consider getting her a small mouse — some of the portable wireless ones are great for tiny kid hands.

@DToher @ifixcoinops @drV @mcneely I suggest maybe a silicon keyboard where the keys can't easily pop off. It's basically one big sealed piece of material.

Search for Sungwoo Foldable Silicone Keyboard on Amazon. It's fairly inexpensive at the moment and I can see it working well for a 4 year old and easy clean where crumbs and liquids shouldn't break it.

@ifixcoinops @taco @drV @mcneely To be fair, most of us GenZ-ers have never stepped foot into an arcade, having grown up with video game consoles. But there's still plenty of media around arcades. I think we'd figure out how to put a coin in the game.

That said, I did not know coins could jam. Like it makes sense but I've never considered it. How would you unjam the machine?

@Charlie @taco @drV @mcneely I have a massive thread incoming on the failings of American currency and how that affects jamming in mechanical coin mechs but tl;dr: machines in other countries don't jam, when an American machine jams press on the plastic of the coin slot or look for a round metal button nearby or underneath. If that doesn't work, call the dude over straight away before someone else puts money in and jams it up even harder. :P

@taco @mcneely A shower thought I had a while ago was that if we traveled back in time the same number of years he did in the first Back To The Future movie (30 years), we'd be traveling back to six years after the movie had been released

@taco @drV @mcneely I look after a bunch of interactives in a museum, many but not all of which are touchscreen. But people try touching all the screens.

@taco @drV @mcneely a bit over ten years ago our then toddler would swipe the pictures in magazines and on the back of a digital camera when shown them to try and change to the next picture

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