How Different Generations Use Social Media

In 2021 different generations of users are actively participating in social media. The statistics mentioned above clearly indicate over the years, age barriers on social media have washed up. For example, Twitter is the most recognizable social media platform. Almost every age group is active on Twitter. 

“More than 80% of every generation uses social media at least once per day making social media part of their daily routine.”

The Manifest

Let’s check out the top two accounts most followed on Twitter to identify the range of different generations.

The second most-followed Twitter account belongs to Justin Bieber, with 114.4M followers. He is a successful singer-songwriter from Canada. Justin, the massively popular young star, is 26 years old and belongs to the “Millennials”.

On the other hand, surprisingly, Barack Obama is in the first place. The former US president has 130.3M followers. He is 61 years old and belongs to the most senior generation, “Baby Boomers”.

Although there is a myth that only young people are active on social media, Twitter statistics stand out to show that social media is capable enough to attract all the age groups. Moreover, different age groups have different patterns of using social media. 

This article is a detailed discussion about how different generations of users are adapting to social media.

Different generations socia media usage

Not so long ago, it was challenging for anyone to find someone on the internet. Have you tried finding your long lost high school friend on the internet yet? It’s not such a complicated task anymore! Just type the name and click on the search button, and you have all the search results on your screen.

Do you know 3.96 million users are actively using social media today?

Statista

Social media has impacted our lives in every way. The increasing numbers of users on social sites show that it has taken over everything. From watching a live football match to having trouble in a relationship, social media has every essential resource that you could ever think of.

Initially, social platforms were only considered as a form of time pass. However, the situation has completely changed, and different social sites are now active for various purposes like brand promotions, social works, entertainment, and whatnot.

For example, Dove, the famous personal care brand, has blended a new strategy to promote its brand. They have introduced a campaign, “Courage Is Beautiful,” in honor of the COVID-19 healthcare workers on different social platforms. And not to mention this movement proved to be a hugely successful one.

Moreover, social media marketing is a new trend for businesses. Startups, as well as big companies, everyone is active on digital platforms and reaching out to their target customers. On the other hand, consumers also follow brands on social media. Online shopping is so popular that a lot of physical shops are losing their charms. In the last decade, online purchasing has gone up to an unexpected level, and currently, the number of online shoppers is a staggering 2.05 billion.

Needless to say, the power of social media is overwhelming. During the world’s most recent and ongoing crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, social media has been the only active platform that has tied everyone from the different corners of the world together.

Impact of social media on different generations

Social media is like a pandora’s box; you never know what you are getting. Along with time, social media has evolved and influenced drastically. Now not just shopping, but  every decision we make is somehow connected with social media. We tend to spend a lot of time on different social sites, and based on our social surveys, we make various decisions.

different generations using social media
Source: The Manifest

Moreover, the active participation of different generations on social media has immensely increased. According to Pew Research, in 2005, only 5% of Americans were active on social media. In 2011 users numbers increased unexpectedly from 5% to 50%. And by 2019, 69% of Americans started using social media regularly. So it is quite evident that the internet has a big impact on all age groups, and the numbers are only going high.

In the next part, I will break down the different generations of consumers on social platforms for better understanding.

different generations social media graph

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are the oldest generation that are active on social media. When we think of an age group that is always posting and checking on social media, I bet millennials are the first thought that comes to mind. But the shocking report was baby boomers were more active on social media, and 84% of the boomers stated that the internet had revamped their lives.

However, boomers are not so efficient in technology as they didn’t grow up using the internet. This generation doesn’t understand the dos and don’ts of different social platforms. Like typical social media users, they don’t even follow popular brands. Moreover, online shopping is the last thing they would do on social media.

different generations most used social networks
Source: Statista

Baby boomers are more likely to watch videos on social media platforms. YouTube and Facebook have already successfully replaced TV and phone calls. They usually spend time posting image contents and watching family members’ activities. Some of the professionals are quite active on LinkedIn to get updated on professional life.

Age group: 1946 – 1964

Preferred sites: YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram

Generation X

Generation X is the generation between baby boomers and millennials. Among all the different generations, this is the most ignored and neglected age group. Gen-X was the last grown-up group before the digital platform took over the world.

This age group is technologically much more advanced than the baby boomers. However, they didn’t grow up with a smartphone either, hence they are not used to the selfie and TikTok culture. Gen X is mostly busy taking care of elderly family members or looking after a Generation Z kid.

different generations activities on social media
Source: Statista

Although Generation X is an overlooked group, they spend a lot of time on social media. Different survey results show that 77.5% of Xers are regular on digital sites. However, they are relatively straightforward and don’t like to experiment like millennials. Unlike boomers, Xers are quite fond of online shopping, and before purchasing, they dig into social media reviews.

Generation X communicates a lot, and their social media activities are prone to somewhere between boomers and millennials.

Age group: 1965 – 1979

Preferred sites: Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram

Millennials

Millennials are the most used term these days. This generation was severely influenced by technology while growing up. 66.4% of millennials say social media has improved their lives in many ways. Among all the different generations on social media, 79% of millennials use social platforms multiple times. However, millennials also say too much use of social media has made them spend time and money on unnecessary things. 

Millennials are the first generation that has seen the tech-era, and they are more than comfortable adopting the internet for professional or personal purposes. This generation is more into texting and chatting than phone calls.

Millennials on social media
Source: WPManageNinja

This young generation is always active on their smartphone. They mostly shop online and love to follow brands. Their main motive for social sites is entertainment. Millennials live on the digital platform and regularly post contents such as images, videos, stories, polls, and so on.

Brands consider millennials as hotcakes. They are active, like to meet new people and explore more. 

Age group: 1980 – 1995

Preferred sites: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest

Generation Z

Generation Z is the future. They are considered the most populated and most extensive group of consumers in the upcoming time. Studies show that more than 74% of Gen Z say they love to spend their free time on social media. 

This generation is attracted to vibrant visuals. Gen Z seems to spend a short time reading anything; instead, they are more comfortable with visuals. To be precise, visuals are a common form of language they use for communicating.

Gen Z social media graph
Source: Business Insider

From an early age, Gen Z generations have watched YouTube more than TV. They follow different brands or influencers on YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram. Social media is the perfect place for them to hang out with friends. 

Age group: 1996 onwards

Preferred sites: YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram

Last words

Everyone has a social account on different sites these days. As a result, the number of different generations of social media users are exponentially booming. Is it possible to replace social media? Well, the numbers and statistics don’t give a green signal. Social media is priceless, and here’s why- 

  • People spent an average of 3 hours per day on social networking sites 
  • 73% of marketers stated that they think social media is the most effective platform for their business
  • 71% of consumers recommend shops to their friends and family if they have had a positive experience

Although social media was initially only focused on young generations, the scenario has completely changed. All age groups have their type of social sites, and platforms are well aware of that too. Most of the social platforms are mobile responsive and user-friendly. 

What is social media

Your social site is smart; it understands your taste and sends you what you will eventually look for. Social media for different generations is a boon or bane both. But whatever the outcomes are, social media is here to stay.

I hope this article can help you understand the generation and their relationships with social media. Let us know in the comment section if you have anything to add.

Also check out our article on- 5 Most Effective Social Media to Reach Millennials in 2021

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