Family as 'friends': Microsoft, AARP report shows more families stay connected with social networks
Feb 7, 2012 12:32pm
By Emily Eckland, NCSA Managing Editor of Digital Media
Kids, don’t be surprised if your grandparents send you an email or post a message on your Facebook wall the next time your birthday rolls around.
Online communication and social networking are bridging the generation gap and bringing families closer together, according to a new report from Microsoft (an NCSA Board Member company) and AARP.
“Connecting Generations” looks at how people of all ages are using the Internet to enhance family relationships and stay connected with family members who live far away.
“For decades, baby boomers and other older Americans have valued computers and mobile devices as tools for work, but technology is now playing an increasingly vital role in helping the 50+ population communicate and stay connected to their children, aging parents and other family members,” says Jody Holtzman, senior vice president, AARP Thought Leadership.
But the research also shows the need for educating everyone - from teens to grandparents – about ways they can protect themselves online.
Of those surveyed (teens, parents, and grandparents), 58 percent want to know more about keeping their personal information private and 50 percent want to know how to safeguard their devices.
Younger generations are more interested than older respondents (38 percent versus 27 percent) about safely using social networks.
The report also shows some disconnect between the perceived lines of communication between teens and adults. Forty-nine percent of parents say they make themselves available to talk about online safety, but only 37 percent of teens agree.
Families can learn more about computer safety, privacy and online safety by using Microsoft’s interactive Digital Citizenship in Action Toolkit.
(For more information about how families communication online, check out the infographic on the right.)
Here are some tips from STOP. THINK. CONNECT., Microsoft and AARP:
To read the full Connecting Generations report, visit http://www.aarp.org/technology/safer-internet