Boomers and Millennials Have Similar Tech Practices

While the boomer generation may not be the first group to run out and buy the latest technology, they’re nearly as likely as younger generations to own computers, access the Web on a daily basis, and own gadgets like mobile phones.

So says this Ad Age article, which presents evidence debunking the myth that boomers aren’t interested in technology. It says a Forrester Research annual benchmark study shows that over a three-month period, 46- to 64-year-olds spend an average of $650 on online shopping versus $581 for Gen X and $429 for Gen Y. And the story references a Pew Internet stat: 50- to 64-year-olds had an 88 percent increase in social media usage from April 2009 to May 2010 .

“The misconception that boomers do not appreciate tech crosses all generations. I’ve heard it from fellow baby boomers who say, ‘Wow, you’re so into technology,’ and on down to 20-year-olds who are also surprised,” said Marilynn Mobley, a tech-savvy 63-year-old who’s also a strategic counselor for Edelman’s Boomer Insights Generation Group.

Part of the problem the article points out is defining the demographic. Robert DiLallo, director of Grandparent Marketing Group, New York said many market researchers simply lump everyone over 50 together, which is too broad. In fact, their research shows that boomers and millennials have a lot in common because they both grew up during prosperous times (the ’50s and ’60s for the former and the ’90s for the latter).

“Both groups overwhelmingly use e-mail (91% of boomers/94% of millennials), search engines (88%/89%), research health information (78%/85%), get news (74%/83%) and check out online ratings (30%/31%),” the article reads.