Online surfing matures; teens emailing less

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holdinghands.jpgADOTAS — Older generations are flocking to the Internet like never before, and teens are moving away from email as communication.

The biggest increase since 2005 is the 70-75 year-old age group, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. While 26 percent of of 70-75 year olds were online in 2005, 45 percent of that age group is currently online.

Generation X is the most likely group to bank, shop, and look for health information online. Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online. And even Silent Generation internet users are competitive when it comes to email.

Instant messaging, social networking, and blogging have gained ground as communications tools. Email remains the most popular with 74 percent of users age 64 and older sending and receiving email. But while 89  percent of teens claimed to use email in 2004,  just 73 percent  say they use email less.

Teens and Generation Y (age 18-32) are more likely than their older counterparts to seek entertainment through online videos, online games, and virtual worlds, and they are also more likely to download music to listen to later.

– 78 percent of 12-17 year-old internet users play games online.
– 73 percent of teens email.
– 50 percent of Generation Y play online games

The report says that health questions drive internet users age 73 and older to the internet just as frequently as they drive Generation Y. Researching health information is the third most popular online activity with the most senior age group, after email and online search.

Generation X (ages 33-44) continues to lead in online shopping:

– 80% of Generation X internet users buy products online
– 71 percent of internet users ages 18- 32 buy products online
– 38 percent of online teens buy products online
– 56 percent of internet users ages 64-72 do
– 47 percent of internet users age 73 and older buy online
– 67 percent Generation X internet users lead in online banking, while 57 percent of Generation Y to do their banking online, up from 38 percent in 2005. There has been no significant growth among older generations when it comes to banking online

Downloading videos is now being done more equally across all generations under 73 years old.

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