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March 8, 2009

Apparently, Generation Y is not the ‘Net Generation’

A recent report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project revealed some interesting facts and in the process disspelled the myth that the young (18 – 32) are the dominant internet user group. Surveys throughout 2008 indicated that the older generations were using the internet in greater numbers than ever before with the biggest increase in use occurring in the 70-75 year-old age group.

Although instant messaging, social networking, and blogging gained ground as communication tools, email remained the most popular online activity, especially among older users.  Email usage among teens declined from 89% in 2004 to 73% in 2008 – an indication that younger users were migrating to newer modes of communication but not in significant numbers.

The report also touched on internet usage percentages among the different age groups in relation to  entertainment, health search, online banking, online shopping and video downloading.  Online businesses might find the following breakdown of users who buy products online of interest:

  • 80% of Generation X (33 – 44 years old)
  • 71% of Generation Y (18- 32 years old)
  • 38% of online teens
  • 56% of internet users ages 64-72
  • 47% of internet users age 73 and older

To read the entire report, see: