Now that I am a grandparent (or elder), I am back to evaluating comments made regarding generational differences in technology use and the significance of such differences. Yes, I am a little sensitive about concerns that those of us who have acquired geezer status are no longer “hip” (ask for a translation if this term is not in your vocab).
3DWiredSafety offers a nice summary of a recent Pew study concerning generational differences in use of the Internet. The chart used to conclude the post is especially useful. Younger users do use the net for a greater variety of activities, but there are areas in which “adults” are more frequent users. Kids don’t pay bills online, check their financial information or arrange for travel. They are also less likely to send email. Adults are less likely to download music and IM.
Relevant questions become when do such differences reflect differences in generational interests (i.e., kids do kid things and adults do adult things) rather than what might be interpreted as a resistance to useful change, when are such differences “important”, and when important who should take note. I assume there is much in these data for marketing types. Those fighting for the teen fashion dollar should make sure they have a web presence. Those interested in shaping political opinions of adults should also work on their web sites.