A new study done by Citrix Online has delved deep into the growing divide between social media users and the age gap that separates them. Surprisingly, and much to many’s chagrin, the findings detailed a different story than many would suspect. ‘Their results tell a tale that includes how Gen X workers – and not those in the younger Gen Y generation – make up the majority of those who use social media for work, followed closely by Boomers aged 55 and older. According to the data, Gen Y’s use of collaborative technology also lagged others. The survey, closely illustrates how the age gap between regular social media users is diminishing greatly. Among the results from the survey:

  • Gen Y is least likely to share information via text message (26%, compared to 47% of those aged 55+), and least likely to use video conferencing, video chat and web conferencing tools.
  • Gen Y uses social networking the least frequently (40% of Gen Y workers who use social media for business do so daily, compared to 50% of those aged 55+).
  • Older Boomers (55+) have increased their business use of social media 79% in the past year.
  • 64% of those who use social networking tools in business use them more than last year. Video chat, team document-sharing sites and web conferencing also experienced significant increases in usage, with 56%, 55% and 52% respectively.

As the world of social median and networking evolves with the advent of new tools, results like these are stark and important for companies in order to further their expansion into the future. But, to me, it seems that younger professionals may not be pulling their weight in terms of furthering social networking in the business place because it isn’t a new toy to them. Some companies are just now jumping on the boat (which may have already set sail). Nonetheless, while these results are startling, it will be interesting to see how they play out in terms of social networking’s success in the work place 5 years down the road. Check out the Full Study.