the road ahead

Internet Generations
March 25, 2009, 10:10 pm
Filed under: business, ministry, spirituality


I just completed reading a research paper on generational online usage. I was surprised by the findings.

First surprise: Internet usage has dramatically increased among older adults. The Internet is not just for kids anymore! The 18 – 32, Gen Y “digital natives” naturally understand and use the Internet; however, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and seniors are growing Internet demographics. Does that surprise you?

Second surprise: Since 2005, Internet usage has risen most among adults ages 70 -75! Only 26% of people age 70 – 75 years were online in 2005; now 45% are connected!

Third surprise: E-mail continues to be the most popular online activity, especially for older adults.

These findings confirm the growing reality of a multigenerational Internet world! My mind is spinning as I consider the implications of the generational leveling of the Internet world, even though young people still dominate it.

How about you? Anything from this report surprise you?


7 Comments so far
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Yes, these are surprising statistics. I’m going to take a closer look at that survey. Meanwhile, I’ve been interested in comments about Facebook, which generally was used by college students but is growing by leaps and bounds among us “older folks.” When I first went on Facebook, my niece especially was surprised: “Uncle Dean’s got a Facebook!?!” Now I regularly receive Facebook friendship requests from people my age or older . . .

Comment by Dean Ridings

The Net is like a puzzle and a miracle to older adults.
That’s why it fascinates them. And puzzles makes the mind healthy.

Comment by pochp

I see the younger generation in my family teaching the older parents and grandparents to use the Internet. The grandparents want to learn so they can keep in touch with family. My 82-year-old aunt is on Facebook (she calls it MyFace). Her grandaughter set it up so she can see her baby’s photos. Another aunt uses it to “play with her teen grandchildren.” I think it’s great and helps them connect with younger family members. Another plus is they find the Internet useful for ordering medications and shopping online–what a convenience when it’s harder to go out on errands.
I did see a news story recently that said social networking has become the number one reason people log on, passing e-mail. Interesting.

Comment by Darla

Very interesting statistics. I think, the number of mature people connecting to the Internet will grow dramatically. Great target! Need to re-think my blogging strategy considering this valuable information.

Comment by Svetlana Stolyarova

Fascinating. Many older adults are adopting this out of necessity. Their kids and grand kids use this stuff and they are faced with choice to participate or be left out. I appreciate their willingness to adapt. Gives me hope for future when I get old and cranky… changes is possible (ha).

Comment by Michael

If you think about it, the net is perfect place for older adults who might have mobility issues and find disconnected from family and friends.

Instead of watching TV all day, seniors are now connecting online with people all over the world. They have the time and the technology is now easy and very cheap.

Instead of Bingo night at the Sr. Center, you’ll have also bingo night on Facebook.

Comment by Maurilio Amorim

My mother is 83 years old and got her first computer last year. She also said, “That way I’ll be connected to family.” The survey did not surprise me.

Comment by Kathy Collard Miller

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