by: LIZ NEPORENT Updated:
Edythe Kirchmaier, Facebook's oldest registered user, turns 106 today. Kirchmaier earned the distinction of being the social site's oldest denizen last year when friends from the medical aid charity Direct Relief signed her up for an account on her 105th birthday.
Kirchmaier, who is also California's oldest licensed driver and the University of Chicago's oldest living graduate, at first couldn't enter her birth year of 1908 when she joined Facebook. It took the site's engineers a month to verify her age and fix the glitch, something they'd never had to do before, Direct Relief's spokeswoman, Kerri Murray said.
Born into the age of telegraphs and candle stick telephones, Kirchmaier said she embraces social media because it allows her to check in daily with friends and family. She's also used her status to raise awareness for volunteerism in general and Direct Relief in particular.
"My goal was to get my favorite charity, Direct Relief, better known," she told ABCNews.com.
The centenarian said she cherishes her Facebook relationships but still believes in the power of the pen. Every Tuesday for the past 41 years, she's driven herself to Direct Relief's offices in Santa Barbara, Calif., to hand-write thank-you letters to the charity's donors.
Not that she underestimates the reach of social media. She has more than 45,000 friends on her personal Facebook page. The fan page Direct Relief set up for her last year now has almost 105,000 likes. Users can go to the page to donate to the charity and sign up for volunteer opportunities.