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Pew: More Old People Using Facebook, Teens Blogging Less

old people facebookWatch out! Old people are joining Facebook! That's one of the major findings from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which just released the results of its latest survey, 'Generations 2010.'

According to the report, Internet users over the age of 74 joined social networking sites at a faster rate than any other age group this year. Since 2008, in fact, social networking use has quadrupled among people of the 'G.I. Generation,' jumping from 4-percent to 16-percent. At the other end of the spectrum, 'millennial' (people between the ages of 18 and 33) are more likely to use social networking, wireless Internet, and laptops than any other age demographic, and are more likely to spend their online time in virtual worlds, as well. People above the age of 33, however, are more likely to use the Web to do more practical things, like online banking and checking up on governmental websites.

In general, online activity has increased across all age groups, with the lone exception of blogging. Teens, in particular, are blogging significantly less than they used to do, as the percentage of teenagers who manage their own blogs has been cut in half since 2006. Pew suggests that this decline may be due to the rise of sites like Facebook and Twitter, which have provided teens with alternative means of self-expression. Older generations, on the other hand, still seem enamored with the blog medium: 14-percent of non-teenagers maintain their own blog, compared with 11-percent in 2008.

Other interesting nuggets from the report include statistics on online consumption. Pew's researchers found that 66-percent of Internet-using adults now watch videos online -- an increase of 14-percent since 2008. Just over half of all adults listen to music online, compared with the 34-percent who did so in 2004. Craigslist and other classified ads sites have seen a particularly precipitous jump in adult usage (53-percent in 2010, versus 32-percent in September 2007).

Overall, then, the findings may not come as a huge surprise. Pretty much everyone knows that social networking is exploding, and, as older generations continue along their online migratory paths, it's only logical that Pew's percentages would shoot up. Still, it's always interesting to troll through the numbers, and see, in quantitative terms, just how rapidly things have changed.

Tags: age, demographics, generations, old, pew, pew report, PewReport, PewResearchCenter, SocialNetworking, study, top, Web, youth