Tech Bridges the Generational Divide

Many tech gadgets are becoming increasingly popular across generations, with a majority now owning cell phones, laptops and desktop computers. Still, young people are leading the way when it comes to mobility, with most preferring laptops to desktops and using their cell phones for more than just taking pictures and text messaging, according to a new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

The report, released Thursday, found that cell phones are the most popular devices among American adults, with 85 percent of all adults owning a cell phone. Desktop computers and laptops also were popular, though Millennials were more likely to own a laptop: 70 percent own a laptop, compared to 57 percent who own a desktop. Desktop computers were most popular with adults age 35-65, with 69 percent of Gen X, 65 percent of younger Baby Boomers and 64 percent of Older Boomers owning these devices, the study found.

Tablet computers like the iPad are most popular with American adults under age 65, with 4 percent of all adults owning this gadget, Pew found.

Even with the increased acceptance of technology among the generations, millennials still come out on top, as they were by far the most likely group not only to own most of the devices Pew surveyed, but also to take advantage of a wider range of functions. This was particularly true with cell phones, who use their phones not only for taking pictures and text messaging but also to access the Internet, send e-mail, play games and listen to music, Pew found. Gen X is also similar to Millenials in its ownership of devices, such as game consoles.

Additionally, about 9 percent of adults do not own any of the devices listed in the survey, including 43 percent of adults age 75 and older.

There's been much talk about tech and generations in the federal workplace. But as tech gadgets become more popular across generations, what does this mean for the future of federal recruitment, hiring and retention? Can federal agencies keep up?

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