Statistics Canada has reported that senior Canadians are steadily increasing their Internet usage. What they’re doing online is often different than younger surfers, including listening to music or watching videos. This data left us wondering why there is such an e-generation gap, so we followed up with an informal survey of our own.
Statistics Canada Survey of Canadian Senior Citizens
2010 statistics revealed that 60% of seniors aged 65 to 74 are active online, and they’re joined by 29% of those over 75. By comparison, almost 100% of Canadian youth aged 15-24 were online by 2010.
While 87% of the 15 to 24 age group enjoyed downloaded music weekly, only 10% of Canadian seniors 65 to 74 listened to downloaded music that often. Seniors still listened to music in traditional formats (CD, cassette, etc.), they’re just not big on downloads. In 2010, over 50% of those over 45 who listen to music used traditional formats. A mere 6% of Canadian youth 15 to 24 listened to music in traditional format.
The same habits are reflected in video viewing. Only 10% of Canadian senior citizens watched videos online in 2010, by comparison to almost 80% of our youth.
Our Informal Survey of Canadian Seniors
We asked online Canadian senior citizens to tell us why this e-generation gap exists, by conducting an informal e-mail survey. While we had their attention, we decided to throw in a couple of questions regarding online shopping. The informal survey generated 381 responses.
- 100% cited security fears of downloads in general
- 47% didn’t want to buy new equipment (such as an MP3 player)
- 36% said they didn’t want to learn how to download music or videos
- 36% said the only videos they viewed were on Facebook when they were posted by people in their network
- 17% said they’re more interested in online video since seeing TV advertisements for companies such as NetFlix
In regards to shopping online:
- 100% of those who had never ordered online cited security concerns as their top reason for not doing so
- 75% had researched a product online
- 48% had ordered something online
- 33% said it would make their lives easier if they felt they could safely order online
- 14% had asked someone else to order something online on their behalf
It’s clear that we have a long way to go before Canada’s senior citizens are ready to entrust their information to us, or risk downloading. On one hand, I’m happy that seniors have become savvy enough to be careful online. I would rather lose their purchase by default than see them hurt by internet criminals. On the other hand, I would love to have more ways to reassure them.
What do you think we can do to reassure Canadian senior citizens? A Canadian Government or independent safety certification? Transaction security through providers like PayPal or banks? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Canadians and the Digital Economy (Infographic)
Top 13 Reasons Canadians Shop Online (Statistics)
Listen Up, Brands: What Online Canadian Moms Want (Statistics)
Canadian Grocery Shoppers Hungry for Omni-Channel Savings and Convenience (Statistics)
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.