US Baby Boomers: Forging Their Next Relationship with Digital Technology—Maybe - eMarketer
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US Baby Boomers: Forging Their Next Relationship with Digital Technology—Maybe

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: April 19, 2017

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

With the oldest already in their 70s, some boomers will latch onto new digital tools—like health-monitoring devices and smart-home technology—as they try to grow old on their own terms. However, their current levels of digital usage give reason to wonder how far they will go.

  • A majority of boomers are internet users, but a smaller majority than among millennials and Gen Xers. Just under half of boomers use social networks, with most on Facebook and comparatively few getting beyond it.
  • Boomers underindex for smartphone ownership, with fewer than two-thirds having one. Even when they have smartphones, boomers typically make less use of them than younger people do. Wariness of apps is a factor.
  • Many boomers make purchases online and use their computers to seek deals. They are less likely to deploy their phones for these purposes.
  • Looking ahead, it remains to be seen whether boomers will take up digital tools—ranging from health/fitness monitors to smart-home devices to self-driving cars—that could help them deal with old age. Worries about digital privacy are an impediment.

"Though getting to an age at which health problems proliferate, boomers have been slow to use digital tools for health and wellness. This is reflected in paltry uptake of wearables."

Table of Contents

Pioneers Once. But Pioneers Twice?

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Some Basics of Boomer Media Usage

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Boomers and Social Media

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Boomers and Smartphones

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Boomers and Digital Commerce

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Using Digital (or Not) to Deal with Aging

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Conclusions

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27 charts are included in the full report:

US Baby Boomers: Forging Their Next Relationship with Digital Technology—Maybe

US Wearable User Penetration, by Age, 2017 (% of population in each group)

Some Basics of Boomer Media Usage

US Internet User Penetration, by Generation, 2017 (% of population)

US Internet Users Who Use Digital Video Services/Devices, by Age, March 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Primary Way in Which Video Viewers* in North America Watch Movies/TV Shows, by Generation, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

Average Number of Activities Conducted Simultaneously While Watching TV Among US Internet Users, by Generation, Nov 2016

Boomers and Social Media

US Social Network User Penetration, by Generation, 2017 (% of population)

Weekly Time Spent with Social Media Among US Adults, by Age, Q3 2016

US Internet Users Who Worry About the Negative Effects of Social Media on Their Physical/Emotional Health, by Generation, Aug 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Facebook and the Also-Rans

US Facebook User Penetration, by Generation, 2017 (% of population and % of social network users)

US Internet Users' Preferred Social Media Platform, by Generation, Jan 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Social Network User Penetration Among US Baby Boomers, by Platform, 2017 (% of population)

US Facebook Users Who Agree that Ads on Facebook Have Become a Distraction, by Age, Nov 2014-Nov 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Boomers and Smartphones

US Smartphone User Penetration, by Generation, 2017 (% of population)

Primary Smartphone Activity Conducted by US Internet Users, by Age, Jan 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Smartphone Activities Conducted by US Baby Boomer/Senior Smartphone Owners, by Age, July 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

US Internet Users Who Feel Attached to Their Phone/Tablet, by Generation, Aug 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Boomers and Digital Commerce

US Digital Buyer Penetration, by Age, 2017 (% of population)

US Primary Household Shoppers Who Prefer to Shop Mainly via Mobile, Online or In-Store, by Age, Feb 2017 (% of respondents)

Types of Digital Coupons Redeemed for Grocery Items by US Grocery Buyers, by Demographic, Dec 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

App-rehensions

US Internet Users Who Would Like to Use Messaging Apps for Customer Service, by Demographic, Q4 2015 & Q4 2016 (% of respondents of each group)

Primary Channel Used by US Internet Users for Banking Transactions*, by Generation, Dec 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

US Smartphone Mcommerce Buyers Who Primarily Make Mobile Purchases via App vs. Web, by Demographic, Jan 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Using Digital (or Not) to Deal with Aging

Digital Channels Used by US Millennial vs. Baby Boomer Internet Users to Communicate with Their Healthcare Provider, Aug 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

US Wearable User Penetration, by Age, 2017 (% of population in each group)

Smart Home, Sweet Home

Amount that US Homeowners Ages 50+ Are Willing to Spend Annually on Smart-Home Technology, Oct 2016 (% of respondents)

Types of Personal Information that US Internet Users Would Be Willing to Share with a Company Digitally in Order to Automate Household Chores*, by Age, June 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Driving vs. Driven

US Internet Users Who Are Aware of Autonomous/Self-Driving Vehicles, by Age, 2013 & 2016 (% of respondents in each group)