Facebook “memology” report reveals non-travel bias?

Facebook has released its trend analysis of the top words appearing in status updates in 2009. Unlike the Twitter worldview, which had some terms that could be seen as travel-related, Facebook users appear to have spent more time at home. Sure, there’s the obligatory H1N1 mention, which impacted the travel-hungry throughout the year … but that’s it. What cements the seemingly sedentary characteristic of the Facebook addict this year is #13 on its “memology” report (meme = online slang for trend or fad) is “yard.”

We’ve all grown to loathe the coined word “staycation,” but as much as we try to ignore the word, the underlying tendency can’t be ignored. Just how the hell did “yard” come in at #13? It’s the antithesis of travel – of mobility, really – and drives home the notion that low fares and dirt-cheap hotel rooms weren’t enough to get us out of our own plots in 2009.

Facebook admits to some surprise at this meme on the list, saying, “This is a trend that nobody would have guessed.” Can’t get blunter than that, right?The social network’s blog post continues, “The word “yard” seems fairly uncommon, and indeed it barely breaches a rate of five mentions in every 10,000 status updates. When we compare 2009 to 2008, however, we see a huge increase.”

It’s possible, according to Facebook, that it’s a result of more “moms and dads” coming to Facebook and letting the world know via status updates that they are either working or spending time in the most suburban of land masses, as “these folks have yards that require some tending.”

Does this mean that Twitter users are younger? Or, just more active than their Facebook counterparts? Obviously, it’s impossible to say, but it’s a bit fun to guess. Of course, I cheated a bit with our interpretation of Twitter a few weeks ago, so the chasm isn’t as vast as I may have made it appear.

So, let’s try to change the situation in 2010. Link your Twitter account to your Facebook page and push your travel-related updates hard. Live tweet the hour you wait in line at the security checkpoint, or gripe about the lousy service you get from the airlines. Do something – do anything. Let’s change the face of social media … and put a travel mask on it!

[Photo by Kevin Prichard via Flickr]