Say Happy Birthday to Facebook’s Oldest Member

Edythe Kirchmaier blows out the candles on her birthday cake in 2014. (Photo: Direct Relief)

Facebook’s oldest registered user, Edythe Kirchmaier, turns 107 on Tuesday.

PHOTO: Edythe Kirchmaier holds flowers from her garden.
Edythe Kirchmaier holds flowers from her garden. (Photo: Isaac Hernandez/Direct Relief)

Kirchmaier was named the social networking site’s oldest member when her friends at medical aid charity Direct Relief signed her up for an account two years ago.

It took the site’s engineers a month to verify Edythe’s age and fix the glitch that wouldn’t allow her to enter her actual age, something they’d never had to do before, Direct Relief’s spokeswoman Kerri Murray said.

Last year, Kirchmaier was designated at the site’s second-oldest user after 114-year-old Anna Stoehr of Plainview, Minnesota, signed up for an account. Sadly, Stoehr passed away last month.

Kirchmaier was born in 1908, nearly 50 years before the internet was invented. The 107-year-old says she embraces social media because it allows her to check in with friends and family daily. She’s also used her status to raise awareness for causes she believes in, such as Direct Relief.

“The biggest change I’ve seen during my lifetime has to do with the way we communicate with one another,” Kirchmaier told ABC News. “It’s just incredible how technology is helping us connect with others throughout the world.”

PHOTO: Edythe Kirchmaier and other volunteers write hand written thank you notes
Edythe Kirchmaier and other volunteers write hand written thank you notes. (Photo: Direct Relief)

The centenarian said she cherishes her Facebook relationships but still believes in the power of the pen. For the past 42 years, Edythe heads to Direct Relief in Santa Barbara, California every Tuesday to hand-write thank-you letters to the charity’s donors.

Kirchmaier said she drove herself to the office up until last year. But after 88 years with a perfect driving record, she no longer gets behind the wheel due to health reasons.

Instead, her 100-year-old friend Gina Vera now chauffeurs her to appointments.

Kirchmaier said she is awed by the power of social media. Though the only other social app she uses is Words With Friends, she has more than 55,000 followers on her personal Facebook page. The fan page Direct Relief set up for her two years ago has nearly 130,000 likes.

CLICK HERE to wish Edythe a happy birthday, sign up for volunteer opportunities and donate to the charity.

PHOTO: Edythe Kirchmaier and her grandchild.
Edythe Kirchmaier and her grandchild. (Photo: Isaac Hernandez/Direct Relief)

“People have sent such thoughtful notes, particularly around my birthdays,” she said.

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