How Older Generations Interact with Technology

The world is a tech-driven place. Between tablets, laptops, and smartphones, technology is a part of our everyday life. As such, we all belong to a “digital generation.”

For younger generations, or “digital natives,” many were born into the digital world and have a natural knowledge of technology. However, older generations, known as “digital immigrants,” aren’t as familiar with technology and may stumble when navigating new devices and platforms.

From the Silent Traditionalists to Generation X, we’ve rounded up some statistics to show how digital immigrants interact with technology today.

Silent Traditionalists prefer computers for communications.

Technology has made communication easier than ever. Perhaps that’s why 63 percent of Silent Traditionalists (ages 76-96) use computers to increase communication with loved ones. It’s also worth noting 72 percent of this generation prefers to use cell phones as a means of communication in everyday life. They’re the oldest generation, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dabbling in the world of tech!

Baby Boomers use technology to make life easier.

Baby Boomers (ages 56-76) are growing more and more familiar with technology. In fact, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Baby Boomers are more comfortable than ever with the digital world. This generation increased their use of mobile grocery delivery/pickup apps by 431 percent in 2020. Likewise, they ramped up their use of telehealth services by 469 percent. Hey, technology can make life easier — and it seems this generation is ready to reap the benefits.

Gen X is more likely to be on social media.

The youngest of the digital immigrants, Gen X is no stranger to the “hip” ways of utilizing technology. With 74 percent active on social media, Gen X (ages 41-56) is growing more comfortable with things like streaming services on smart TVs, social media, and online gaming. Facebook is a popular platform for Gen Xers, who average around seven hours a week spent on the site.

Tips for digital immigrants to stay safe online.

Since digital immigrants are embracing technology and internet-connected devices more and more, they too need to embrace ways to stay safe online. See the sidebar graphic, courtesy of Norton, with helpful tips, for all ages.

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