Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Many surveys have been conducted regarding how different generations use technology. And it appears there's just as much of a technology usage gap as there is a generation gap. Recent results revealed a great difference between how the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y perceive and use technology.
Younger generations have historically and notoriously been impatient with older generations, and it appears to be no different with technology. They seem to be frustrated by the Baby Boomer's lack of enthusiasm about the latest technological offerings. But this frustration goes both ways, as Baby Boomers cannot seem to understand why the Generations X and Y are choosing to publish the details of their personal lives online.





All Are Comfortable With Technology

What's interesting about the findings is that the comfort with and level of dependency on technology was present in all generations, albeit to varying degrees.
Baby Boomers appear to place more consideration into the usefulness of available technology or online services prior to using them, which may often be mistaken as a dismissal of technology. Granted, Baby Boomers aren't nearly as immersed in technology offerings as their Generation Y or even X counterparts, but it is expected that the gap will narrow, at least where mobile internet and smart phone penetration are concerned.


Slow Vs. Fast Adoption

Some of the older generations have no doubt needed some time to become convinced that technology can actually benefit them, but they are getting there. Those who were children in the sixties experienced a much different upbringing from those born after them. The rotary telephone and tube television were the two mainstays of teen-to-twenty-something life. Other entertainment could be found outdoors with other children in the neighborhood, where conversational skill, exercise and life lessons occurred.
The Y Generation may appear to many to have missed out on those important physical interactions, seemingly having been born holding a laptop or smart phone. But many say that the important social interactions which shaped the Baby Boomer's childhood are still occurring, just with a much higher degree of technological intervention.
Generation X may be the balance between the two, as not all from this generation have become fluent in the use of computer, internet or mobile technology, or chosen to make it a part of their daily lives.


Different Reasons for Usage

While all generations as a whole are increasing their dependence on technology, each generation's reasons for using technology the way they do differs greatly.
Technology in the hands of the younger generation is being used more and more for connections. Self-expression and meaning are just two of the goals that this generation continues to look to technology to help them reach.
Older generations seem to be looking to technology to assist them with getting the information they need and increasing their convenience. Once again, practicality appears to be a common thread for both Baby Boomers and Generation X members who have chosen to embrace technology.


Impact on Many Organizations

Experts are stressing the importance of understanding how different generations use technology where marketing is concerned. For example, if older generations are using mainly email or social media to stay connected, marketing products aimed at their generation using iPhone apps is not going to generate the expected amount of revenue.
The technological generation gap is also affecting the efforts of organizations to attract members. For example, many churches now have sophisticated web sites than can include video and podcasts. But in addition to the above, these establishments may wish to also include an app or mobile version of their site for younger generations who tend to want to access their content on the go.


Benefits Of Climbing On Board

For those members of Generation X who may have yet to integrate technology into their daily lives, one tempting reason to get on the technology wagon may be income. After all, the injection of technology into many aspects of working life demands that employees have the skills necessary to successfully navigate the modern workplace. And having specific technological skills can mean that employers are willing to pay higher wages for them.


Author Bio:
Guest author Kimberly Edwards enjoys writing on a variety of topics, particularly related to technology.  She has recently published a resource helping consumers assess internet providers in Omaha.

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