The research, compiled by AARP and the Center for the Digital Future, suggests older browsers use some aspects of the web more often then their younger counterparts. Some 42% of the over 50s check the web for news on a daily basis, compared to just 18% of the under 20s. Online communities are also more popular with the over 50s, with 58% logging on every day compared to 47% of the under 20s.
“The perception is that Americans over 50 only dabble on the internet, but we are finding that they increasingly spend time online becoming involved in robust internet activities,” says Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future.
However, some areas are still more popular with the younger generation. Online gaming is a regular activity for 22% of the under 50s, but only 18% of the over 50s. In addition, 48% of users under 20 say that instant messaging is important or very important, compared to only 9% of the over 50s.