Britons now spend more time using technology devices than they do sleeping. This statistic, however, isn’t restricted to a certain group or generation. It’s a technological influence that impacts nearly the entire nation, and is a hint towards the evolving relationship between generations and tech devices. No longer is technology just for Millennials (people aged 18 to 34). Both Generation X (ages 35 to 50) and Baby Boomers (ages 51 to 69) use, and are impacted by technology just as much as the generations below them.
If you need any convincing, then let’s burst some generational myth bubbles.
For some time now, many people have been misunderstood in believing that Millennials use technology far more than the generations above them. We’re also often under the assumption that Baby Boomers have little to no knowledge of today’s current devices. Neither could be further from the truth, with Baby Boomers currently spending more on tech than any other generation, thanks in part to the disparity of incomes among the generations. Baby Boomers also account for the most users of laptops (43%), along with 40% of primary tablet users.
Since its recent birth, social media has often been viewed as a platform for the young and the Millennials. So it may come as a surprise that Baby Boomers share more on Facebook than any other generation, while Generation X account for the highest number of users for both Twitter and YouTube. The younger generations aren’t actually the ones dominating technology and the older generations aren’t one step behind. Technology has now reached a state where it’s a pivotal and near vital part of everyone’s lives, regardless of what era you were born in. It’s time for a new way of thinking.
A new way of thinking
Selling tech devices. Hiring people to use and manage these devices. Training people for new technologies. Whatever your relationship with technology, we can no longer afford to look at one particular generation and assume they do or don’t understand a certain tech device. Young or old, we are all impacted heavily by technology, and retailers, workforces, and people in general, shouldn’t disregard an entire group due to an outdated assumption.
We’re no longer surprised when we see a 5-year-old swiping through apps on an iPad, so why would you be surprised to hear that a 75-year-old uses the same device? We shouldn’t, and accordingly, retailers shouldn’t make the mistake of marketing their tech devices to a certain group of people, when it’s a device that appeals to multiple generations. The same should be said for the workforce, where companies have often been guilty of age discrimination, hiring young over the old, under the assumption that they would have a greater understanding of the technologies available. Not only is this unprincipled, it’s also inaccurate. Each candidate needs to be treated individually, and as a result, should lead to the best recruitment. Furthermore, to create a workforce at its peak productivity and efficiency train every employee equally on new technological devices, regardless of age.
Every individual is different, and should be treated as such. While there may be a 25-year-old who has far more experience with a mobile, their 50-year-old father may be more experienced on desktop – or vise-versa. Technology plays far too big a role in all of our lives to see it restricted to a particular group or generation.
Certain apps, programs, and designs may be targeted towards a certain generation. That’s marketing 101 and the benefits are apparent. What you shouldn’t do, however, is market an entire device or piece of technology at one generation, assuming others won’t be interested or knowledgeable. No different to the television, radio or automobiles, modern tech has gone from a ‘want’ to a ‘need’. It now impacts near everyone, each and every day. Your age in parallel to your tech interest is now irrelevant, and the more technology evolves, the clearer this will become.
Steve is an enterprise cloud expert at HighQ provider of innovative enterprise collaboration, file sharing and content publishing solutions to the world’s leading law firms, corporate legal teams and banks.He’s passionate about content marketing and delivering thought provoking yet helpful material to tech enthusiasts.