How Our Grandparents Feel about Technology

Imagine going back fifty years ago — no iPhones, Metaverse, Google, or YouTube! What would you do? How would you connect with others and communicate throughout your day? While Millennials and Gen Zers may consider this question outlandish, the technological advances we experience daily are considered futuristic to earlier generations. From dating apps to video games, our regular way of life reflects a new tech landscape.

Twenty years ago, interested partners would exchange phone numbers by writing them down on a ripped piece of paper. Now, we swipe right on dating apps and ghost them if we are no longer interested. According to a new study by life insurance broker Coventry Direct, 29% of Americans over the age of 50 say they would have used dating apps if they had existed when they were younger. 6% of those surveyed were currently on dating apps, while 26% say they have tried them but don’t use them anymore.

In addition to our dating lives, technology has saturated our careers. It’s no secret that the rise of remote work is prevalent and shows no signs of slowing down. Now, there are even occupations where the primary responsibility is to post pictures and videos of yourself — you know what social media influencers are, right? According to the same study, 55% think being an influencer is a great way to take advantage of technology, while 42% say it’s not a real job. One in 10 people 75 years or older say they don’t know what an influencer is.

Another space where generational gaps are most evident beyond social media is the world of video games. From Super Mario Bros to Fortnite, the evolution of video games is breathtaking. With a consistent increase in realism, there’s no wonder why gaming has become one of the most popular hobbies for ages 18-30. However, your grandparents may find playing Playstation and Xbox irreverent. According to Coventry, 40% of adults find spectating video games is the silliest trend of younger generations while 50% feel video games have an overall negative impact on today’s youth.

As Zoomers enter adulthood, we can expect a confluence of generations. As it stands, many older generations would rather spend time with their peers than their younger counterparts — 69% of adults 50 years and older would rather hang out with people their age while 31% prefer spending time with those younger.

Childhood upbringing and societal norms set the stage for generational beliefs. The recent generations have the most technological influence and consumption compared to any other past generation; this creates opposing views and division. Offering either end of the age spectrum opportunities to understand the other’s reasoning may work to reduce the biases present around technology and its benefits.