The term Baby Boomers is defined as someone born post World War II, between the years of 1946-1964. Young Boomers are ages 43-53 and older Boomers are 53-63 and have different interest and behaviors when using social network sites or the web. Their main characteristics are that they were raised during a time where they had the opportunity to be experimental, individualist, free spirited with an emphasis on social causes. This may be the reason why they are interested in social networking. The only problem is that some of them are getting older and it may be hard for them to keep up with the new technology, especially if there are health issues they have to face in terms of their decaying vision, hearing and cognition. Yet, not all of the baby boomers are fragile and unable to learn how to use this emerging technology as we think because all they may need is some assistance with getting acquainted with it. In fact, many older adults already shop online because it is easier then traveling to the store. The thing that slows them down is learning how to manage all the things they must do to feel comfortable using computerized applications and the person showing them how to manage these functions must have patience.
In addition, what makes it easier for some seniors to use new technology is the fact that some of them just replaced it with something that they were already familiar with. For instance, if someone owned a VCR, and replaced it with a DVD, some of the new features are the same, which makes it easy for them to use it and makes it a simple transition.
Presently, most seniors even use cell phones and this was an easy transition from the land line phones they use at their homes. Another thing that they may not be adjusted to is using the new web applications that are accessible to them. I see that many of them only use cell phone to make calls because they are not comfortable with learning the other things they can do with it. The use of computers and the internet takes seniors long to adapt because they have to make a different type of conceptual shift. Once they start surfing the web, they find that this gives them the opportunity to explore the world. What may be a longer learning experience for baby boomers, turns out that once they start, they are spending more time accessing information, shopping online and staying connected to friends through social network sites and other things that interest them.
I found an interesting magazine called BabyBoomer-magzine.com and a site for babyboomers (http://www.babyboomer.com/) that has links to some interesting information, such as, anti aging products, timeshares, mortgages, stock trading, retirement and even dating. I will blog more on the dating scene for baby boomers in a future post, such as, BabyboomerPeopleMeet.com