Poll: Canadian Boomers Are No Luddites; Majority Feel World Would Be "Passing Them By" If They Weren't Online



    
    Survey reveals two-thirds of Canada's 45 - 64 year olds email friends and
    family more often than phoning, while nearly half are using online social
    networking sites
    

    TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - New survey results from Yahoo! Canada and Leger
Marketing reveal that while the vast majority of Canada's baby boomers are
using email and going online for news and information about everything from
their health to their travel plans to their retirement portfolios, an advanced
boomer breed of Web 2.0 aficionados are now emerging and discovering online
video, music, games, and social networks.

    Family and Friends - Nurturing Cultural Connections

    A full 9 in 10 (89%) of boomers say the Internet allows them to share
information with their loved ones more easily than in the past, with one-third
(31%) saying the first picture they saw of their grandkids or a newborn
relative was on their computer. Boomers are going online to stay in touch,
with 72% saying they definitely feel more connected with family and friends
because of the Internet. More than half (57%) of boomers have more contacts on
their computer than in their paper address book and 64% say they email friends
and family more often than calling them on the phone.
    While female boomers are slightly more likely than male boomers (50%
versus 45%) to be online social networkers, among both male and female
boomers, the most popular social networking activities are communicating with
friends (79%), and posting pictures (68%).
    "The social connections people are making online are in no way limited to
the younger demographic," says Sara Moore, Yahoo! Canada's director of
marketing. "This powerful, influential group of Canadians are active
participants in the best the online world has to offer. For many boomers,
their digital lives include social bookmarking, RSS feeds, and email inboxes
chocked full of information about the things that matter most to them."

    Online Discovery - Finding Love, Music and More

    The survey reveals that 1 in 3 (36%) of unmarried baby boomers use the
Internet to look up personals and dating sites. Among boomers who use the
Internet for personals and dating, most say they enjoy these sites because
they meet people who have similar interests (52%) or connect with people who
they wouldn't usually meet in their daily lives (63%).
    The survey also reveals that 3 in 4 boomers (76%) said they love learning
about new kinds of technology, with 64% saying they discover something new
every time they go online. Boomer's interest in technology is reflected in
their music habits with 56% using the Internet to download or listen to music.
The musical past is hard to give up though as 68% of boomers admit they still
have a record collection.
    Female boomers are bigger online gamers than male boomers, with 60% of
female boomers versus 46% of male boomers saying they use the Internet to play
games. Male boomers are more likely to watch online video, movies and TV shows
than female boomers (41% versus 28%).
    "This survey validates what we've been saying all along: boomers are just
as adventurous as younger Web surfers," says Moses Znaimer, CEO of
ZoomerMedia. "Whether they are streaming live audio and video from our radio
station sites or embedding Flash-based applications on their profile pages at
our social network site, Zoomers.ca, boomer Web surfers are as tech savvy as
their younger counterparts. As far as we're concerned, the only difference
between younger and older Web surfers is their bank balance," says Znaimer.

    Keeping Current and Staying Sharp

    With nearly half of Canadian boomers (48%) saying that the Internet is
their main source for news and information, a full 72% also state that
Internet use keeps their brain sharp. In fact, the majority (55%) of Canadian
boomers feel the world would be "passing them by" if they weren't online, with
3 in 5 stating that being online allows them to follow political events and
elections more closely, and almost one-third (31%) attributing the global
financial crisis as a reason they are reading the news online more. Male
boomers are more portable when it comes to bringing the Internet with them as
23% of male boomers versus only 12% of female boomers bring their laptop with
them everywhere they go.

    Healthy, Wealthy, and Wiser

    Canadian boomers who use the Internet to read or find health information
trust what they find online (59%), possibly because the majority (56%)
consider themselves knowledgeable about how reliable certain websites are when
it comes to health information. And while 8 in 10 (78%) search the Internet
for information on specific diseases and symptoms, more than half (55%) look
for lifestyle information (diet, exercise, nutrition) and one quarter (25%)
are seeking out information about alternative therapies like acupuncture and
chiropractic care.
    When it comes to managing their savings, 86% of boomers use the Internet
to read or find financial information, with 3 in 10 of these boomers
researching investments online (28%). An additional 1 in 5 (22%) manage their
investments online and 1 in 10 (12%) engage in online trading. When spending
their savings on travel, 82% of boomers use the Internet for travel
information and prefer booking their travel online because they can look at
reviews of the places they will be visiting (62%) and read comments posted by
others about their experiences (68%). Fifty-nine per cent also said they look
for last minute deals online.

    About the Survey

    The online survey of 2,111 Canadian "baby boomers" (aged 45 to 64) was
conducted for Yahoo! Canada by Leger Marketing between December 29, 2008 and
January 5, 2009. This method simulates a probability sample which would yield
a maximum margin of error of +/-2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

    About Yahoo!

    Yahoo! Canada Co. is a leading Internet destination that provides online
products and services to meet the needs of Canadians and offers a range of
tools and marketing solutions for businesses to connect with Internet users.
Yahoo! Canada services Canadians in both English and in French through its
sites, www.yahoo.ca and http://qc.yahoo.ca. In Canada, Yahoo! sites were
visited by more than 16 million Canadians in January, 2009 (comScore Media
Metrix, January, 2009).





For further information:

For further information: Clive Hobson, Director Public Relations, Yahoo!
Canada, (416) 848-6184; Laura Butcher, Briana D'Archi, Environics
Communications, (416) 969-2766, (416) 969-2671, lbutcher@environicspr.com,
bdarchi@environicspr.com

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