Typical of boomers, they insist on applying their own values to technology, a recent report by AARP and Microsoft found.

“Boomer ideals were forged in an era when human rights and individual freedoms were central concerns, and boomers apply that perspective to technology as well. They fear that their children, perhaps unwittingly, allow technology to shape their lives rather than using technology to help create the lives they want. Boomers want technology to fit the lives they have made and the values they hold dear.”

Sponsors of the report “Boomers and Technology: An Extended Conversation” invited over 240 boomers to discuss technology and how they use it. Some of the key findings:

  • While boomers agreed that technology is becoming easier to use, they typically blame manufacturers for making products unnecessarily difficult to use, or not presenting instructions clearly.
  • Privacy is a major concern; the report cites data from a recent study that shows only 34 percent of boomers are comfortable with Internet sites that personalize content for them. However, 52 percent were reassured by clearly presented privacy policies.
  • Boomers are enthusiastic about applying technology to health care. In fact, they are 98 percent more likely to visit health Web sites than the average Internet user. While only a small percentage of participants were already using electronic health records, they were unanimously satisfied with the technology.
  • One popular technology among participants was voice input and output, however, they insisted on flexibility.