Mobile Messaging: Not Just For Kids
By Mike Masnick, Wed Apr 06 01:30:00 GMT 2005
It's not the least bit surprising that younger generations are picking up mobile messaging technologies before older generations -- but the statistics suggest that many senior citizens aren't afraid to punch out a quick SMS message every once in a while.
It almost goes without saying these days that teenagers tend to pick up on new technologies before older generations do. Just like learning languages, sometimes it seems that understanding technology comes much more naturally to younger people. With that in mind, it seems sort of pointless to toss up yet another study showing that kids are more likely to be mobile messaging than older generations. While the article makes it sound like it's a problem that older users are falling "way behind," it just seems like a natural progression. Those users aren't interested in rushing after some new technology that's not really going to do much for them (or, which might not even be around in a year's time).
However, just as some are decrying the supposed "age gap" in mobile messaging adoption, another study is pointing out that 14% of Americans over the age of 65 are using text messaging. 14% may not be very high, but considering that the study covers the US, where text messaging has been much slower to catch on, it's still quite significant.
Clearly, the concept of mobile messaging has been slowly making itself known to older generations. While just a few months ago, programs were still encouraging parents of school aged kids to text message, now those same kids may be texting their grandparents. Of course, to help boost adoption in the higher age ranges, designers of phones and applications need to take into consideration the different needs of those over 65 and how they're likely to use mobile messaging. However, the overall message is clear: there's no need to worry about older users catching on. It will happen. It's just that they're wise enough not to rush into anything without first understanding why it's useful.