Seismic Shift In Internet Age Mass
February 12, 2009 at 5:04 AM (PT)
According to surveys through 2008 by the PEW INTERNET AND AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT, larger percentages of older generations are online now than in the past, and they are doing more activities online. Generation X (not Y) 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 e-mail.
The biggest increase in Internet use since 2005 is 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, and doing more activities online.
Teens and Generation Y (age 18-32) are more likely than their older counterparts to seek entertainment through online videos, online games, and virtual worlds, and they are also more likely to download music to listen to later.
- 78% of 12-17 year-old Internet users play games online
- 73% of online teens e-mail, the second most popular activity for this age group
- only 50% of Generation Y play online games
The report says that health questions drive Internet users age 73 and older to the internet just as frequently as they drive Generation Y. Researching health information is the third most popular online activity with the most senior age group, after e-mail and online search.
Generation X (ages 33-44) continues to lead in online shopping:
- 80% of Generation X Internet users buy products online
- 71% of Internet users ages 18- 32 buy products online
- 38% of online teens buy products online
- 56% of Internet users ages 64-72 do
- 47% of Internet users age 73 and older buy online
- 67% Generation X Internet users lead in online banking, while 57% of Generation Y to do their banking online, up from 38% in 2005. There has been no significant growth among older generations when it comes to banking online
The writers note, in summary, that "...contrary to the image of Generation Y as the 'Net Generation,' Internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life."
For additional information about the report, visit pewinternet.org.