Does your age affect how you use the Internet? It turns out, yes, it kind of does. How the younger generations view the Internet and its usefulness is slightly askew from their older peers.
While some toddlers are now seen tapping away on iPhones, their grandparents are still trying to figure out how to send an email. That doesn’t mean the older generation isn’t catching up, though.
The generation of kids born after the year 2000, those between one and 15-years-old, lacks a specific designation, but we’re partial to calling them Generation Like or the Selfie Generation, judging from their Internet habits. It’s reported that children start using the Internet as young as 3-years-old now and outpace their parents’ Internet use by nearly twice as much.
It should come as no surprise that online gaming is a big draw for kids, but they also spend unhealthy amounts of time looking at websites concerning self-harm, bullying, and enjoy using Facebook an awful lot. Nearly 60 percent of children use social media by the time they turn 10. Are you sensing a connection here? That might explain the recent outbreak of kids reporting bullying and how Taylor Swift keeps winning so many awards.
Millennials are young people who reached adulthood around 2000 and many of them are now in their 20’s. They’re also nicknamed the Net Generation, having been the first to grow up with regular access to the Internet at home. This resulted in 98 percent of adults ages 18-29 using the Internet every day.
Millennials still outpace other generations in terms of social media use at a whopping 89 percent, but the others are surprisingly close to closing in on them. The Net Generation isn’t only interested in connecting with friends. This generation also uses the Internet as a source to find and advance in jobs more than any other age group, at a rate of 76 percent.
They also might be helping those young’uns out by listening to Taylor Swift online more than the other generations. That’s kind of embarrassing.
Millennials also utilize the Internet for finding new homes and keeping up with the latest sports scores at pretty high rates.
Generation X is the one between the Millennials and the Baby Boomers, the ones you never seem to hear about in the news. That might be due to a lack of attention seeking and vanity. Only 20 percent of Generation X Internet users have a selfie posted online, as opposed to 55 percent of the younger generations.
However, this group does enjoy keeping up with others on Facebook and have nearly as many friends as their younger counterparts. You might recognize them from all the photos they post of their kids. They also seem to make up a large percentage of the blogosphere.
Generation X might also have the best handle on politics seeing how they spend more time on government websites than every other generation.
The Baby Boomers
You might be shocked to find the Baby Boomers are kind of hip. They’re only slightly behind their younger kids, with 88 percent of boomers using the Internet on a regular basis. They engage in social media and have an average of 75 friends on Facebook.
They’re 10 percent more likely than the younger generations to research products online before buying and they’re pretty much the reason webMD still exists, as they get a lot of their medical information online. Somebody should probably tell them not to believe everything they read online, as they don’t seem to have gotten the memo.
The Old Timers
To the utter surprise of no one, the oldest generation is still reluctant to get online. They’re working on it though. We were happy to see that 57 percent of them get online each day, though almost all of those who do are getting on some form of social media. They’re also spawning some pretty hilarious commercials in the process.
That doesn’t mean our grandparents’ generation isn’t capable of shocking us with their Internet savvy. The members of the oldest generation have finally gotten a handle on how to Google and now use email at a whopping rate of 96 percent. Even the Millennials don’t email that often.
These senior warriors also use the Internet to catch up on the news and check to see what that new creak in their knee is all about before checking in with the doctor.
As we move forward, it’s only logical we’ll be seeing the rate of Internet usage among each generation even out. Soon granny is going to be hosting her own variety show on YouTube with the best of them. To be honest, it’s kind of hard to believe there are people alive who can still get away with not using it at all.
Photo Credit: Photoschafi/Flikr
Ben Kerns is a fan of all things related to technology and the Internet, especially when it comes to discovering new ways to further merge the two together. When he's not plugged in, he enjoys the great outdoors, healthy living, and singing off-tune to cheesy country songs.
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