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Boomers And Gen Xers Are Embracing Technology At A Faster Rate Than Millennials

December 10, 2019 Digital Media Solutions

Shutterstock_380240230 Close up portrait of happy young couple using a digital tablet together at a coffee shop. Young man and woman looking at touch screen computer and smiling.

Technology usage across all generations from Baby Boomers to Gen X to Millennials and beyond continues to grow. 81% of Americans own smartphones and 64% own tablets. In one way or another, all generations have embraced technology. There are emerging trends that indicate younger generations may adapt technology the earliest, but it is now the older demographic market that is embracing technology the most rapidly.

Millennials Lead On Tech Adoption

Millennials, the first generation to grow up with social media and smartphones, continues to be the generation with the broadest usage of technology.

  • 93% of Millennials own smartphones compared with 90% of Gen Xers and 68% of Baby Boomers.
  • More than 25% of Millennials use mobile phones as their primary sources for content, as compared with 17% of Gen Xers and 7% of Baby Boomers.
  • Millennials also lead social media and internet usage. 86% of Millennials are active on social media as compared with 76% of Gen X and 59% of Boomers.
  • 100% of Millennials use the internet, and 19% of them are smartphone-only internet users.
  • 91% of Gen Xers and 85% of Baby Boomers utilize the internet, but only 17% and 11% respectively are exclusively using their smartphones to go online.

Source: Pew Research

Gen X And Baby Boomers Adopting Tech At Higher Rates

Although Baby Boomers may trail Gen X and Millennials on native technology usage, the rate at which Boomers expand their use of technology is accelerated. This tech usage growth may be due to older generations looking to connect with Millennials via texting, sharing photos and social media.

  • Today, 68% of Baby Boomers own smartphones compared with 25% in 2011.
  • Since 2012, social media use has grown the fastest among the older generations with Gen X usage at usage at 74% and Baby Boomers at 59%. Millennial social media usage has remained relatively unchanged during this time period.

Source: Pew Research

Baby Boomers And Gen Xers Are An Untapped Audience Online

As Boomers and Gen Xers are spending more time online and utilizing their smartphones to access apps, social media and the internet, marketers can capitalize on these user behavior statistics to reach these generations more effectively. By 2020, 100 million smartphone users will be age 45 and over, meaning mobile marketing and social media are not just mediums to reach young people, but important ways to connect with all generations.

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About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: DMS) is a leading provider of technology and digital performance marketing solutions leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. DMS proprietary technology solutions, significant proprietary media distribution and data-driven processes help large brands steadily acquire more customers. For more information visit

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