First Advisor

Steven L. Thorne

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Applied Linguistics and University Honors


Applied Linguistics


Content analysis (Communication), Facebook (Electronic resource), Language and languages -- Age differences, Online social networks, Social media -- Research




This thesis explores the connections between user age and unique linguistic features used when communicating on Facebook and other online social networking platforms, in the form of a literature review. It includes a detailed history of computer-mediated communication, along with an analysis of all of Facebook’s features and how they contribute to communication via the site. The language features common to each age group (young adults/teens, adults, and seniors) are detailed, analyzed from Schwartz et al’s work Personality, gender, and age in the language of social media: The Open-Vocabulary Approach, along with making the argument that teens and seniors—the two most disparate groups using online social networking platforms today—are so different due to Prensky’s concepts of “digital native” and “digital adopter.”


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