Anyone younger than you will tell you that older people behave differently from younger people. The other way around is true, too. This is especially true when it comes to the use of technology, particularly PCs and the Internet. In our forthcoming Ages of Technology Profile Report, over 8,000 survey respondents painted a clear picture for us.
Age Matters for These “Younger” Activities
If you’ve ever wondered how different younger people are from older people, consider what they do online and with their PC. Of several major activities, nine stand out as being done much more often by younger people than by older people.
Each of the following eight activities are done by the 18-24 year olds five times or more than the 65+ crowd. Interestingly, there is almost a linear relationship between age and usage levels. In nearly all cases, with each passing decade, only two-thirds as many do the activity of the younger age group.
- Listen to music not on Internet (MP3, CD) – 70% of PCs for age 18-24 vs. 14% of PCs for age 65+
- Use a community/social networking group (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Ryze) – 70% of PCs for age 18-24 vs. 7% of PCs for age 65+
- Download music or MP3s – 61% of PCs for age 18-24 vs. 6% of PCs for age 65+
- Watch movies (DVD) – 53% of PCs for age 18-24 vs. 9% of PCs for age 65+
- Share digital images on my own website or blog – 32% of PCs for age 18-24 vs. 6% for age 65+
- Write your own blog/online journal (e.g. WordPress, Blogger) – 25% of PCs for age 18-24 vs. 3% for age 65+
- Design (e.g., CAD/CAM) – 11% of PCs for age 18-24 vs. 2% for age 65+
- Online betting (e.g. horse races) – 8% of PCs for age 18-24 vs. 1% of PCs for age 65+
Source: MetaFacts Ages of Technology Profile Report
There are two aspects – what younger people like to do, and their familiarity with technology since a young age.
Age Matters for These “Older” Activities
Interestingly, not all hyper-activity use is among the youngest users. Two activities are done more often among users as they get older.
The first activity is email. Most of that can be attibuted to younger users finding other ways to stay in touch than email, such as social networks, cellphones and text messaging. Only 91% of the 18-24 crowd report regularly using email compared with a ubiquitous 97% of those 65+.
The second activity is searching for information on health issues. Those age 18-24 seem to feel they will live forever or at least aren’t as curious as their older conterparts. Less than half (48%) of PCs used by those 18-24 report regularly using the Internet to search for information on health issues, compared with 64% of those age 65+. At just under two-thirds, this can’t be called an obsessive activity, but it’s certainly higher.