E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard: Old and Young Use Internet Differently

Friday, January 30, 2009

Old and Young Use Internet Differently

Americans who are part of Generation X are most likely to bank, shop and look for health information online, Baby Boomers are as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online, and members of the Silent Generation are proficient with email and are gaining ground online, according to surveys from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

The Generations Online in 2009 (pdf)  research, which was conducted between 2006 and 2008, specifically examines internet use by generation, and discovers big differences in online behaviors by age. Though 74% of all US adults are online, younger users ages 12-28 have embraced online applications that enable communicative, creative, and social uses, older users are more likely to engage in online activities that require some capital, such as travel reservations and online banking.

It also finds that though more than half of America’s online population is between ages 18-44,  larger percentages of older Americans are going online and doing more things there than they have in the past. The biggest increase in internet use since 2005 is in the 70-75 year-old age group. While just over one-fourth (26%) of 70-75 year olds were online in 2005, 45% of that age group is currently online.

Email Remains Most Popular
Instant messaging, social networking, and blogging have gained ground as communications tools, but email remains the most popular online activity, particularly among older internet users, the survey found.

Three quarters (74%) of internet users ages 64+ send and receive email, making email the most popular online activity for this age group. At the same time, email has lost some ground among teens. Some 89% of teens said they used email in 2004, but only 73% say they do now.

Read the rest of the study...

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