Generations Online – Boomers, Gen-X and G.I.s All Go Online


Over half of the adult internet population is between 18 and 44 years old. But larger percentages of older generations are online now than in the past, and they are doing more activities online, according to surveys taken from 2006-2008.

Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the “Net Generation,” internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life. Generation X is the most likely group to bank, shop, and look for health information online. Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online. And even Silent Generation internet users are competitive when it comes to email (although teens might point out that this is proof that email is for old people).  >>Full Story

Thoughts// A great report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project summarizes the rapid shifts in the online population of the last 3 years.  While conventional wisdom or more appropriately, old stereotypes, say that older Americans are not online, new data suggests that while 55+ consumers are not as prevalent online, their numbers and use of the medium are growing.

pewinternetgenerationsonline

A quote from the report:

Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the “Net Generation,” internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life. Generation X is the most likely group to bank, shop, and look for health information online. Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online. And even Silent Generation internet users are competitive when it comes to email (although teens might point out that this is proof that email is for old people).

Notice the ‘make travel reservations’ line.  There is no difference between the Gen Y (18-32) and the G.I. Generation (73+) who make reservations online…both come in at 65%.  In fact, the group most likely to make reservations online, Gen X (33-44) is only at 70%.  Of course, the variance between the number of Gen Y (87%), Gen X (81%) and G.I. (31%) actually online is much larger, however still an interesting thought that your 76-year-old Grandmother and, well, you (if you are younger than 32) are both just as likely to book travel online.  Who knew?

The full report is a free download and contains a solid amount of information.  Unfortunately, no hidden secrets on how to unlock the mystery of social media marketing, however some good insights…such as, if you are targeting anyone over 55+, you can skip running ads on the major social networking sites…only 9% of Older Boomers (55-63) reported using them.

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