Published on: August 14, 2012by Kevin Coupe
eMarketer.com is out with a new study suggesting that while baby boomers are becoming increasingly engaged with the internet and social networking, they still lag behind younger people. “Marketers can safely assume they’ll find most 20-somethings online on a typical day. They shouldn’t have the same assurance about boomers,” the report says.
The report builds on a study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project saying that while 84.4 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-29 go online in a typical day, and 78.3 percent between the ages of 30-49 are online daily, just 58.5 percent between the ages of 50-64 go online in a typical day.
"The mobile internet is another area where boomers trail younger age groups. eMarketer estimates that 42.6% of boomers who have mobile phones are mobile internet users. Among Generation X (now ages 32 to 47), six in 10 are in that category. More boomers will buy smartphones and above-average growth in mobile internet penetration among boomers will narrow but not close the gap during the next several years, according to eMarketer projections."
The one place where boomers catch up with younger people - email. (Which, as we all know, is an old person's technology.)
"Marketers who approach boomers online shouldn’t mislead themselves with the illusion that boomers are as immersed in the digital life as younger people are," eMarketer.com writes. "Boomers are the desktop, Web 1.0 generation. They don’t shun digital technology, but neither should marketers expect to find them adopting every new twist in it."
I have to admit that I am a little surprised by these numbers. Maybe it is just the people I hang with, but I am trying to think if I know anybody - anybody - in any age group that does not go online on any given day. (Other than, let's say, people my dad's age. But even that is becoming harder to find.)
I know some people my age who don't use social networks, and even a few people who don't like to shop online. But not spending anytime online for at least a little bit each day? Hard to imagine.
Maybe it is like toilet paper. Isn't there a statistic out there saying that something like 95 percent of Americans use toilet paper? Which has always made me wonder who is part of that other five percent, and can they wear a sign so I don't have to shake hands with them?
But I digress...
- KC's View: