Michigan grandmother, 104, says Facebook won't accept her age

Marguerite Joseph uses Facebook to stay in touch with family, spend time with granddaughter

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

GROSSE POINTE SHORES, Mich. - In just a few months, Marguerite Joseph from Grosse Pointe Shores will turn 105 years old.

She was just four-year-old when the Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean, she lived through the Great Depression, just about every known war and Pearl Harbor made headlines in her day.

Joseph has experienced every new form of communication over the past hundreds years, but no one in her family expected she'd be logged onto Facebook.

"All of our family members always asked how grandma was doing on my Facebook page," said Marguerite's granddaughter, Gail Marlow. "So I decided I would set up a page of her own so she could stay connected to her family in Canada." 

Marguerite was 102 when her Facebook page was created, she's legally blind and hard of hearing, but each day Gail reads and responds to all of her grandma's Facebook messages.


"I cherish this time we spend together," said Marlow. "She gets that we're on the internet, she gets that we're talking to relatives does she understand social media? Probably not."  

Understand or not, she's up to 109 friends and has posted 84 pictures. But when it came to sharing her triple-digit age, Facebook wouldn't allow it -- she's been 99 years old online for years.

They want to select the year 1908 in the drop down box, but it always changes back to 1928.

"Every time I tried to change the settings to the right year, Facebook always came back with an unknown error message and would send us right back to a year she wasn't born in," Marlow said. "I would love to see her real age on Facebook, I mean in April she's going to be 105. It's special."

The number is what motivated Gail to go straight to the top, she sent message after message to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg, but never received a reply. 

"I am just chalking it up as a glitch in the system," said Marlow. 

After four years of trying, the age 104 is still too much for even Facebook to compute. But no matter what age Marguerite's profile says, you can't put a number on the time Gail spends with her. 

"This is an opportunity for me to share her with the world and I truly believe being online has helped keep her young," said Marlow.

Facebook issues statement:

"We've recently discovered an issue whereby some Facebook users may be unable to enter a birthday before 1910. We are working on a fix for this and we apologize for the inconvenience."

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