Posts Tagged ‘instant messaging’

postheadericon Every Generation Has Its Day

A recent Pew Research study was done in an attempt to differentiate various generations and their unique roles as web users. Some of the information they retrieved was pretty interesting. I don’t know about you and your family; but I know my siblings, parents, and grandparents utilize the internet for many different reasons. Not to mention the older generations in my family aren’t naturally as tech savvy nor do they really spend as much time online as say myself or my younger siblings who are just now hitting the “tween” ages. This may be the same within your family tree, or it may not be. Let’s take a peak and see what the Pew Research Center found to be an average depiction of what our generations are doing online.

First and foremost, how about we break down exactly what the different generations mean, shall we?

Generations
Generation name Birth years, Ages in 2010 % of total adult population % of internet-using population
Millennials Born 1977-1992, Ages 18-33 30% 35%
Gen X Born 1965-1976, Ages 34-45 19 21
Younger Boomers Born 1955-1964, Ages 46-55 20 20
Older Boomers Born 1946-1954, Ages 56-64 14 13
Silent Generation Born 1937-1945, Ages 65-73 7 5
G.I. Generation Born -1936, Age 74+ 9 3
Source: Pew Research, December 2010

So now that we know who’s who, let’s dissect what we and they are doing with their time online. Do any of the generations have anything in common as web users?

Online Activities (% of Generation Group)
% Engaging
Activity Teens Millennials Gen X Younger Boomers Older Boomers Silent Gen. G.I. Gen. All adultsAge 18+
Go online 93% 95% 86% 81% 76% 58% 30% 79%
Teens and/or Millennials are more likely to engage in the following activities compared with older users
Watch a video 57 80 66 62 55 44 20 66
Use social network sites 73 83 62 50 43 34 16 61
Send IMs 67 66 52 35 30 29 4 47
Play online games 78 50 38 26 28 25 18 35
Read blogs 49 43 34 27 25 23 15 32
Visit a virtual world 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4
Activities where Gen X users or older generations dominate
Visit a government website * 61 75 73 69 56 41 67
Get financial info * 33 38 41 41 44 30 38
For some activities, the youngest and oldest cohorts may differ, but there is less variation overall
Send or read e-mail 73 96 94 91 93 90 88 94
Use a search engine * 92 87 86 87 82 72 87
Look for health info 31 85 84 84 85 76 59 83
Get news 62 76 79 76 76 67 54 75
Buy a product 48 68 66 64 69 59 57 66
Make travel reservations * 64 67 70 67 61 53 66
Bank online * 62 62 58 56 44 35 58
Use online classifieds * 64 58 49 42 30 17 53
Listen to music online * 65 58 48 38 25 12 51
Look for religious info * 31 35 34 33 26 28 32
Rate a product, service or person * 32 32 29 40 38 16 32
Participate in an auction * 28 31 25 25 13 7 26
Make a charitable donation * 21 24 24 23 20 13 22
Download podcasts * 26 20 20 16 12 10 21
Work on own blog 14 18 16 11 11 8 5 14
Source: Pew Research, December 2010
So now that we’ve analyzed these statistics, what do we make of them? Well it’s definitely clear that the younger generations have the most presence online when it comes to: use of social networking sites, instant messaging, use of online classifieds, playing online games, listening to music, reading blogs, and participating in virtual worlds. No surprise there though right?

Take a look at the entire report to get more insight on the generations of internet users and maybe we can catch a glimpse of the future from their findings.