Monday, November 30, 2009

Boomers' Attitudes Toward Technology

I saw this great article about Boomer attitudes toward technology  by  Michael Rogers on the AARP web site. Yes, I want to scream when I think of being old enough to benefit from AARP's wisdom, but here I am.

Rogers concludes what I knew all along. Boomers' "technology habits are not frozen in time. Boomers are thoughtful adopters who are open to new technologies that add value to their lives." We don't see ourselves as slow at adopting technology. However, we do think that manufacturers produce products that are excessively complex and have poor instructions.

AARP found that our generation is interested in some very cutting edge technologies.
  • We would be willing to wear sensor-equipped exercise clothes, for example, to keep track of our physical condition and calories burned during workouts.
  • We are willing to have our health records encoded electronically and maybe even to have a chip implanted with our health history. 
  •  Boomers support online banking and are willing to see the mobile phone become both a credit card and cash equivalent.
  • Our generation will also adopt "green" technologies en mass.
To be clear, these conclusions were not drawn from a large sample. Only 60 plus "influencers" participated in gatherings during May 2009 in San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, and New York. All of the participants had broadband Internet at home and so may have represented forward thinkers anyway. Here is the link to the report Boomers and Technology: an extended conversation. 

One example in the report said that Boomers will demand better security online and will pioneer the idea of true online Internet IDs, the electronic equivalent of driver's licenses or passports.  I have great faith in the power of our generation not only to adopt new technologies, but to help influence them. And so I ask you, readers, do you think Boomers will continue to influence technology? Or will it pass them by?


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