You might argue that everyone, regardless of age, was along for the ride, or at least everyone under the age of 30. I’m not saying they weren’t, but we spent our adolescence growing up with social media. We were around long enough to see how life worked without it but had it thrown upon us at an age where the ways to make the best/correct use of it came most naturally to us. No one else will ever be able to have as clear an understanding of these services, no matter how much they may think they do.
I still regularly talk to people I got to know on Usenet and mailing lists and IRC in the early ’90s, from web forums in the early ’00s, as well as from Twitter and Tumblr (where I first spoke to my wife!) in the late ’00s. Before those came BBSs and WELL.
Turns out social networking is an awful lot less shiny and new than Cathryn’s extremely limited perspective has led her to believe. If she’d been around the block, she’d be qualified to make some judgements on which facets of modern social networking are novel, and which ones are merely yesterday’s leftovers rewarmed. That would have been something worth reading. But she hasn’t, so she can’t, and she didn’t.