Not So Different Online

According to a new study released by the Center for the Digital Future and AARP, Americans 50+ are closing the digital divide with online behaviors similar to much younger users (those under 20). Older citizens not only use websites for information, but they also use social networking, gaming and news channels in ever-increasing numbers. Key findings of the study include:

  • News source. More than twice as many 50+ Americans than users under 20 check news online (42% compared to 18%)
  • Online communities. More older users log in daily or several times a day (58% vs. 47%). Forty-six percent of users under 50 and users over 70 use the internet to maintain their social relationships. Seventy percent of members 50+ and 58% of members under 20 reported their online communities were very or extremely important to them.
  • Social activism. More older users participate in online communities for social causes (36% vs 29%).
  • Games. Eighteen percent of users 50+ go online daily to play, compared to 22 percent of users under 50.
  • Shopping. All users indicated they sometimes or often view items in retail stores before buying online (68% for 50+, 72% for under 50).

You can download highlights of the report at the Centre for the Digital Future website.