Millennials Did Not Invent the Internet



Millennials did not invent the Internet. Nor, for that matter, did Generation X’ers.

Yet why are so many of us in the media surprised Baby Boomers are online? Here’s just the latest bit of evidence, from eMarketer:

Baby Boomers Lead Pharma Online Script Fulfillment

More consumers are filling their prescriptions online, with a surprising demographic leading that digital consumer transition — baby boomers, an age group most likely to have ongoing prescription needs.

I, for one, am not surprised. But maybe that’s because I’m a (late) Baby Boomer — one who began his career tapping out high-school sports stories on an early-model word processor at a local daily newspaper. This was all the way back in 1980-81. (By the way in those days we also used a “TC” (telecommunication) machine that basically presaged modems and email, as our beat writer for the local Major League Baseball team dispatched the text of his nightly game coverage from far-off American League outposts like Anaheim and Dallas — like magic.)

A decade or so later, we of the same generation ushered in the era of desktop publishing which essentially did for paper media what web CMS’s do today for online media.

Are Baby Boomers as uniformly acclimatized to digital devices as their younger counterparts? No. But I think a lot of unwarranted “surprises” are straight ahead about who’s using online services. Few of us, at any age, are exempt from enjoying online conveniences — and the boom in tablets and their point-and-push interfaces are going to make this truer by the day. Blanket statements about an assumed correlation between age and technology need not apply.