Baby Boomers and Social Networking

By January 28, 2010

Baby Boomers expect that technology will help them live longer and keep them better connected, according to several complementary studies. Socially speaking, this section of the population are cultivating their existing relationships and creating new ones at unique rates compared to other age groups. “Creating and renewing personal connections online is the biggest draw for these boomers,” said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Boomers and Social Media .” About 47 percent of baby boomers who use the Internet are members of a social network, she says. The contacts that they make on these networks include family, friends and colleagues.

In September 2009, 46 percent of boomer respondents in Deloitte's "State of the Media Democracy (...)" study maintained a social networking profile - as compared to signing up for membership and never coming back to the site. The trends decline with age - 77 percent of Millennials (aged 14-26) regularly visit their social site profile, 61 percent of Generation X, and 36 percent of Matures (63-75).

The Boomer presence in social networking has steadily increased - in 2007 only thirty percent of this group maintained profiles. The next year the level reached 31 percent. Compared to the Millennials, who reached a saturated point earlier, the younger group remained relatively level - 71 percent in 2007, 76 percent in 2008.

These levels are for out of the Internet public, but another study shows the demographics for sections of social network users only. Anderson Analytics breaks the age groups into Generation Z, Y, and X, Baby Boomers and the WWII Generation. With these specifics, Facebook becomes more markedly the favorite network for those users above 25 or so.

Gen Xers and older all greatly preferred the use of Facebook, with ninety percent of the oldest category using it, to the near exclusion of the others. 73 percent of Baby Boomers use Facebook, but forty percent use MySpace as well.

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