Internet and mobile usage transcends generational divides. Get on board a train and looking around the chances are you’ll see people in their fifties and sixties checking e-mails or twitter accounts just as enthusiastically as their younger counterparts. Equally, spend time as a fly on the wall in an average household and you’ll probably find that every member of the family from seven to seventy spends a fair amount of time online.
Not much of a generational divide then. But there are some differences and perhaps the greatest fault line lies between those who cannot remember a world that wasn’t digital and those who can. Or to put it another way, the ‘digital natives’ and the ‘digital migrants.’
And the natives also tend to be ‘digital firsts’ in that their preference is to transact online unless it proves impossible to do so. So in addition to downloading music, booking flights or buying books, they would also prefer to carry out complex transactions such as buying or researching life insurance or renewing driving licences online. Meanwhile the digital migrants often make a choice between the digital and analogue channels. For some classes of transaction they prefer to go online, for others, they would rather visit a bricks and mortar branch or ring a call centre. They are digital but not necessarily ‘digital first.’ Continue reading