Generational Differences w/ Technology Usage

Older workers are generally less confident in using technology in the workplace. There is a distinct generational gap in the use of technology in America. Young people are experts at using various types of technology, while their older counterparts often struggle to keep up with each new technological offering. According to the Technology Gap Survey performed by Lexis Nexis and WorldOne Research, 57 percent of business and legal professionals indicate their workplace has a defined generation gap in technology usage.

Email:
White-collar professionals often are required to use email to some extent during their workday. However, it is evident that a generation gap exists in email usage. The Lexis Nexis Technology Gap Survey indicated that baby boomers (age 47 and older, as of 2011) use email 27 percent less than Generation X workers (ages 32 to 46) and 39 percent less than Generation Y workers (ages 31 and younger).

Instant Messaging:
Instant messaging is a useful tool in the workplace, because it has been found to reduce the amount of time consumed by distractions, according to “Science Daily.” However, the Lexis Nexis survey indicates a distinct generation gap in the usage of this technology. The survey reports that baby boomers use instant messaging 57 percent less than Generation X workers and 68 percent less than Generation Y workers.

Desktop/Laptop:
Laptop computers generally are considered to be a more advanced technology than traditional desktop models. The Lexis Nexis survey indicates a generation gap in the use of laptop computers. The survey shows that baby boomers use desktop computers for all of their computing needs 12 percent more than Generation X workers and 22 percent more than Generation Y workers.

Mobile Phones and Smartphones:
Mobile phones and smartphones are common items in today’s technology-driven society. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that, as of 2011, 83 percent of Americans own a cellphone or a smartphone. However, in the workplace, a generation gap is clearly evident. The Lexis Nexis survey shows that baby boomers use a mobile phone (not a smartphone) in the workplace 36 percent less than Generation X workers and 67 percent less than Generation Y workers. Baby boomers use a smartphone in the workplace 35 percent less than Generation X workers and 73 percent less than Generation Y workers.

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