According to a December 2010 Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project research report a key fact to keep in mind is that younger cell-only age groups regularly use FaceBook or other social hubs. Milliennials, those ages 18-33, are more likely to access the internet with a mobile phone and milliennials still surpass their elders in use of social network sites.
However, internet users in Gen X (those ages 34-45) and older cohorts are rapidly catching up to Millennials in online activities. All age groups now depend on the Internet for news. Among the major trends in online activities:
- The fastest growth in use of social network sites has come from internet users ages 74 and older.
- The percentage of all adult internet users who watch video online jumped 14 points in the past two years, from 52% in May 2008 to 66% in May 2010.
- The percentage of all adult internet users who get their news online has grown:
- 76% of Millennials,
- 79% of Gen X,
- 76% of Young Boomers,
- 76% of Older Boomers,
- 67% of Silent Generation and
- 54% of G.I Generation
- Roughly eight in ten (81%) of Millennials have broadband at home, as well as 73% of Gen X, 68% of young boomers and 61% of older boomers.
People are spending more time with news than ever before, according to Pew Research Center survey data, but when it comes to the platform of choice, the web is gaining ground rapidly while other sectors are losing. In 2010, digital was the only media sector seeing audience growth. And cable news joined the ranks of older media suffering audience decline.
While the youngest and oldest cohorts may differ, certain key internet activities are becoming more uniformly popular across all age groups. These include:
- Getting news
- Search engine use to find information
- Downloading podcasts
- Buying products
- Making travel reservations or purchases
- Doing online banking
- Looking for religious information
- Rating products, services, or people
- Making online charitable and political donations
- Seeking health information