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Demographic effects on Social media and Internet penetration

Demographically we have three generations, that is X, Y and Z. Although the years of 'cohort start' of these generations are not truly distinct, these generations can be used in studying on how Internet and Computer penetration has affected different generations. For starters, generations XY and Z are for people who were born between 1950 to 1980, 1980 to 2000 and 2000 to date respectively.

A critical analysis of socialbakers' facebook statics for Uganda, gives a picture of highest social media penetration in the age group of 18-24 and worst social media penetration in the age group of 55-64. Although this can be ignored, given the fact that it is facebook and merely a social media network, I wouldn't easily brush it off. These days facebook is used for advertisement and reaching out to many groups of people including our customers and suppliers and who knows the same demographic penetration trends for facebook can be extrapolated to Internet penetration in general, never the less computer penetration.

Although it might seem misleading to use facebook penetration as a yardstick for Internet penetration, it's trends don't greatly deviated from the other Internet services and the Internet in general.

Therefore, if we are to use the information above to our benefit, one would wonder why people from the gen x have not embraced social media, Internet and computer usage at large. Some one will inform me that not all people from gen x are ignorant about the Internet and computer usage but may be they ignored social networks and left them for the gen y kids who find it more enticing and fashionable to associate with different social networks. My personal experience, doesn't differ from the data either. I work in an office with majority of gen y chaps but with a few gen x leaders in supervisory and managerial roles. To compound the problem, these people in the x generation are the decision makers, they decide what social network to block, what website to allow through a web firewall at what time and what organizational resources should be allocated to Internet and in what direction. It is by no surprise that you will find such companies lacking social presence on the Internet and still depends on the traditional methods of publicity and marketing.

The question then comes in; why do people from generation X shy away from the Internet and it's new innovations like social networks? Could it be because the Internet was developed to the public during the Y generation? Could it be because most social networks have been developed by Y generation chaps? A lot can be thought of as a reason but I tend to think that these 'old' people are pretty contented with what the traditional Internet (Web I) can provide and it meets their demands. Don't fix it unless it is broken mentality at work here. These people are fine with the old prevailing means and don't find no reason of moving on to the new things. One of my old friend has just refused to use outlook, and prefers webmail, for what reason, I don't know but there is a factor of 'not getting used' to the monster application (outlook). One time he told me, he will get used to outlook if webmail fails.

My friend here tells me that the other reason could be the isolation these x- generation people find on these networks. A network of majority Y and Z generation, usually might be hard for an x generation person to enjoy because of the strange topics of discussion, few people with whom they share history and conversation.

Leaving social network aside and looking at Internet at general, in Uganda most of the big people who are supposed to be the majority decision makers in the big organizations, have had to first print to read, ask some one to respond to their mails and all things of that caliber.

Alot has to be done, and in particular to the people who are supposed to affect resource allocation, but one wonders, what should be done? How can we change this trend of things? Is it really the truth any way? Are all the x- gen people non compliant to technological changes? How can those that have moved with technology assist those that are still lagging?

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