“Current Events”: Mom and Dad are catching up…

How I felt so savvy when I knew more about blogs, myspace, facebook, and social media than my parents.  They would guffaw and say “you crazy kids, you’re going to burn your eyeballs with all those hours spent on the internets.” (yes, internetS) 

However, businesses overseen by members of the baby boom generation are finally catching up to the times.  Everyone has a similar story about the day their father friended them on Facebook. 

However scary it may be, it’s also a sign of humility on their part; to acknowledge that the traditional ways to market a business has become the past.  My own father, co-manager of a Signs Now (large digital print outs and production company/”signage” consultant) in my hometown (mom is the other manager), has not only friended myself and my sisters on Facebook, but is also starting a blog for his business in order to push their digital graphics (he enlisted me for my help).  He has also asked me to explain to him the magic and mystery of Twitter.

Below is a piece by Steven Rubel:

Social Networking Demographics: Boomers Jump In, Gen Y Plateaus
Courtesy of Micro Persuasion: the blog of Steve Rubel

There’s a common misperception out there that all of the blogging, Twittering and Facebooking is being done by twenty and thirty-somethings. That, in fact, turns out not to be true. Baby Boomers (those born 1946-1964) are the fastest growing users of social networking sites and are also increasingly reading blogs too. Meanwhile, Gen Y interest in these services has plateaued. This all according to the latest Consumer Electronics Usage Survey from Accenture.


According to the study, baby boomers…

Increased reading blogs and listening to podcasts by 67 percent year over year; nearly 80 times faster than Gen Y (1 percent)
Posted a 59 percent increase in using social networking sites—more than 30 times faster than Gen Y (2 percent)
Increased watching/posting videos on the Internet by 35 percent—while Gen Y usage decreased slightly (-2 percent)
Accelerated playing video games on the go via mobile devices by 52 percent— 20 times faster than Gen Y (2 percent)
Increased listening to music on an iPod or other portable music player by 49 percent—more than four times faster than Gen Y (12 percent)
Meanwhile, Gen Y…

Participation slipped in virtual worlds from 23 percent to 19 percent
Consumed no more video online than they did last year
Clogged and contributed to wikis less (it’s down from 35 to 33 percent)
The baby boomer results don’t surprise me. What does jump out at me is how the most technologically savvy generation we have seen to date is slowing their adoption. Could they be suffering from social fatigue or do they have enough technology in their lives already? Perhaps they are returning toward more face-to-face venues, which anecdotally, I have heard. It will be interesting to see how this progresses next year.

Additional data from the latest Accenture report is summarized here from TWICE.


Alright Generation Y, how do you feel about this?


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