BUSTING Baby Boomer Myths: Myth #3


Myth #3: Boomers Don’t Embrace Technology

Some people believe technology is only truly embraced by the younger groups (Gen Y) who’ve grown up in a world reliant on it. EMarketer, a New York–based market research company finds that Boomers are crawling all over the Web.

In 2011, 78 percent of Boomers were online. Younger Boomers (ages 47 to 55) spent an average of 39.3 hours online per month, while older Boomers (ages 56 to 65) averaged 36.5 hours per month.

Why and how do they use the Internet? According to a study conducted by ThirdAge, the top three reasons Baby Boomers spend time online are to seek out information (92 percent), to stay in touch with friends and family (92 percent), and to shop online (73 percent).

  • 47% connect to the internet wirelessly
  • E-commerce
    • 81% research products
    • 70% buy goods
    • 68% travel reservations
    • 58% banking
    • 27% online auctions
  • 38% are on video sharing sites
  • When Boomers participate in social media, they are more likely to be passive participants (in a given week, 27 percent of Boomers read blogs, while only 7 percent actually blog)
  • According to Pew Research, they’re more likely than GenX’ers to use the web to gather information, nearly as likely to shop online, and they’re avid consumers of digital health information
  • Hitwise data from 2006 showed 5 categories strongly represented by those over the age of 55: Pharmacies, eGreetings, Cruises, Gambling/Gaming, and Entertainment Competitions

[Data Sources: Pew Research and Hitwise]

What’s important for us to understand from these statistics is that, while they may lag behind younger age groups in their adoption of a specific technology, Boomers will generally follow suit soon afterwards.

These the Baby Boomer myths are perpetuated by business and the media, mostly from a marketing perspective. However, Boomers are a vast and varied group who are redefining themselves through each season, stage and life event.

They are just waiting for you to effectively connect with them where they are today.

Are you or do you know a Baby Boomer? What other myths about this generation need to be ‘busted’? We want to hear from you!