Generational Attitudes About Websites

bed browsing

Bed browsing – Image by Sincerely Media

One place you can see a generation gap is in attitudes towards websites, especially personal websites and having a web presence.

A study by website building/hosting company Squarespace partnering with The Harris Poll surveyed over 2,000 US adults and found marked differences in attitudes based on age.

The youngest group is of particular interest since they grew up with the Internet, smart devices, etc. Members of Gen Z are those born between 1997 and 2015. This puts the age group in the range of 6-24 years old in 2021.

A summary of some findings:

  • One stat that certainly increased during the pandemic is that 57% of all the Americans surveyed across generations believe that a well-designed online store or website is more important for a business to have than a brick-and-mortar location.
  • Americans browse an average of over 3,000 websites a year. That is 8.4 websites per day.
  • 49% of the Americans surveyed can remember the color of a website better than someone’s eye color. That number is 71% for Millennials and 58% for Gen Zs.
  • Around 60% of Gen Z and 62% of Millennials believe that how you present yourself online is more important than how you present yourself in person.
  • The vast majority (92%) of Gen Z would start their own business. It is 86% of Millennials, 74% of Gen X and 50% of Baby Boomers.
  • Gen Z is more likely to remember off the top of their head the last website they visited (43%) than their partner’s birthday (38%) or their social security number (31%).
  • 44% of Gen Z and 39% of Millennials say they make a better impression online than in person It is only 21% of Gen X and 8% of Baby Boomers who feel that way.
  • Entrepreneurship: Gen Z is the most ambitious generation with 92% saying they would start their own business. Still strong at 86% are Millennials, 74% of Gen X but only 50% of Baby Boomers.
  • What type of business they would start on their own? Top response was offering a service (e.g. teaching a class, offering advice, tutoring) beating out selling a physical product.
  • Broadly, 66% of Americans say that travel is the activity that online research is most important for.
  • But 92% of Gen Z multitask with other activities while browsing websites online. What is diverting their attention? food (59%), listening to music (59%), talking on the phone (45%, dancing (28%), watching TV (59%).
  • Focusing on Gen Z, where are they when they are online? They say while in bed (65%), followed by while on the toilet (43%).
  • Across generations, those surveyed admitted that they spend more time browsing websites than working out (43%) or having sex (42%), in a given week.
  • Who are we looking for online? People they went to school with gets 41%. (That is also the top group who Americans think are looking them up online at 33%.) But 20% of us are looking up exes online in a week and 32% look up their current romantic partner. More specifically, that jumps to over half of Gen Z (51%) and Millennials (55%) looking up their current romantic partner online at least once a week. Finally, 86% of Gen Z and 79% of Millennials look people up online before meeting them for the first time, compared to 65% of Gen X and only 44% of Baby Boomers.
  • And it’s not just people we’re checking up on – 62% of Americans overall (76% of Millennials and 64% of Gen Zers, specifically) always look up a business’ website before shopping, visiting, or eating there. It drops to 65% of Gen X and 49% of Baby Boomers.

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