The Demographics of Technology Users
The face of
technology users continues to change. According to the Pew Internet & American Life study, "a greater portion of
enthusiastic tech users find it more difficult to do without their
computer, cell phone and internet than their television and landline
telephone". Thirty one percent of the population are considered
heavy technology users.
Many of this "tech elite" access
the internet wirelessly and pay for online content. For this group,
as the telephone.
Here is the breakdown of technology users by groups:
tech elites: comprise 6% of the population and
their average age is 22 years old. All of them have internet
most of them have cell phones, This group heavily participates
in online interactivity including: music downloads, participation
online groups, viewing streaming audio and video clips. Seventeen
percent of this group has logged on to the internet using
wireless internet connection.
wired baby boomers: comprise 6% of the population and their
average age is 52. This group spends more
money online than
any other group. They all have internet access and 82% have
cell phones. They actively gather information online and use
GenXers: comprise 18% of the population and their average
age is 36. All of them use the internet. Cell
phone use is
82%. They also make use of interactive aspects of the internet.
Senior Men: comprise only 1% of the population and are very
highly educated. Their average age is 70
and they have been
online for about 10 years. Online activities include information
gathering and online transactions.
Marrieds: comprise 15% of the population and their average
age is 24. Internet use is 66%, while 56% have
Most of them are likely to be married with children.
Older Baby Boomers: make up 21% of the population and their
average age is 54. Internet use is
51% while more of them
(60%) have cell phones. This group has a lower than average
education and income.
Baby Boomers: comprise 16% of the population, with an average
age of 39. Internet use is 45% and
69% have cell phones.
They tend to be married with children and do not have a lot
of free time to devote to technology.
Elderly: make up 16% of the population and have an average
age of 73. Internet use is 12% and 39% of them
cell phone. This group is oriented to traditional media with
78% watching the news on TV every day.
With the decline
of the average size family in America, we have filled our homes
with computers and telephones to gather
According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States 2002, "In
the 1990s, the average yearly expenditure by Americans for media
and information services rose from $365.42 to $640.86 per person,
a growth in real terms of 32%."
Who is your website built for, and which group/groups are you targeting
with your message? Is there interactivity on your website? Do you
offer ecommerce? Can visitors post comments or reviews? Can they
access your website on their cell phones?
CNN posted an article this month stating that phones and handhelds
may replace laptops. The market will see devices that have the ability
to access the internet, manage contacts, play music, take excellent
photos, play games, and make cell phone calls.
Anne Chen from
eWeek states in her article on Mobile Computing that, "as
cell phones and PDAs become ubiquitous and gain the ability to handle
voice, e-mail, calendaring and instant messaging; workers will use
these mobile devices to connect to an increasing number of applications."
Integration and convergence are the buzz words for 2004. Get your
website ready for the next wave of technology!