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Old people catching up to youth when it comes to Internet usage

Don’t discount the seniors when it comes to Internet.

According to a Pew Research Center study released Wednesday, older folks are closing ground on youngsters when it comes to hot Internet trends such as social networking and online shopping. Quoth The Province:

While members of a Millennial Generation made up people ages 18 to 33 are still way ahead in areas such as using smartphones to connect online, their dominance is slipping in many Internet arenas, the U.S. study concluded.

“Even in areas that are still dominated by Millennials, older generations are making notable gains,” authors of the study said in their findings. “Some of the areas that have seen the fastest rate of growth in recent years include older adults’ participation in communication and entertainment activities online, especially in using social network sites such as Facebook.”

Approximately half of “Younger Boomers” ages 46-55 used online social networks in May as compared to just 20 percent two years earlier, according to the study.

The fastest adoption of social networks took place with people 74 years of age or older, with use quadrupling in two years to 16 percent of the group, the study found.

Overall use of online social networks by U.S. adults of all ages nearly doubled in two years to 61 percent, while 83 percent of Millennials are members of such Internet communities, according to the research.

The study suggests that, while Millennials are still more likely to watch online video, other generations are now adopting the habit. More than half of “Older Boomers”(ages 56 to 64) have watched video online, as have 20 percent of the “G.I. Generation” (ages 74 and older). Older Internet users were also increasingly accessing news online.

Not unsurprisingly, Millennials were more sent more text messages and played more online games. But older folks were actually more likely to visit government websites or check financial information via the Web. Popular online activities for users of all ages included email, searches, shopping, banking, and rating products or services.

“Searching for health information, an activity that was once the primary domain of older adults is now the third most popular online activity for all internet users 18 and older,” the study reads.

Surprisingly, the only online activity that had its popularity decrease was blogging. People apparently are now opting to express themselves through Twitter messages and Facebook status updates. Lazy people.

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