The Latest Reminder That Tech Adoption Isn’t Limited To Millennials

Even though I’ve been working to debunk it for the past several years with a mountain of research, one of the strongest stereotypes about tech adoption and demographics persists to this day: older patrons don’t use tech.

One of those research resources, the Pew Research Center, published an article on 1/13/22 by Michelle Faverio that quantifies how important the online space is to all demographics (h/t Ceci Dadisman).

Their latest installment of digital technology adoption across demographics surveyed 1,502 U.S. adults from Jan. 25 to Feb. 8, 2021.

Pew Research Center has a history of studying digital technology adoption. For the new material in this report, the Center surveyed 1,502 U.S. adults from Jan. 25 to Feb. 8, 2021, by cellphone and landline phone. The survey was conducted by interviewers under the direction of Abt Associates and is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, education and other categories. Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.

Highlights & Items Of Note

  • 65+ generation continues to be the fastest growing age group adopting technology. 3/5 own smartphones and they were the only age group to increase tablet ownership since 2018.
  • Gen X has the highest number of tablet owners: 61%. Millennials and 65+ have the lowest ratio, although the latter is on the rise while the latter is dropping faster than any other age group.
  • Even though Millennials are most likely to use social media (84 percent) they are the only age group to see their ratio steadily decline since 2015, when they reached an all-time high of 90 percent.
  • Baby Boomers saw the sharpest increase in social media use since 2015 when they moved from 51 to 73 percent.
  • While Facebook continues to maintain a large ratio of users across all age groups, its share has flatlined since 2016 while other platforms have increased.
  • YouTube is the most used social media platform and maintains the strongest cross generation traction.

Read the full article for even more insight.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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