September 16, 2011

Is There a Digital Divide In Your Family?

Do the Men In Your Family Do Tech Different Than the Ladies?

In my family, I have two brothers and two sisters, so our nuclear unit is made up of seven people, four men and three women. It has been interesting to watch how my parents and my brothers and sisters have approached and adopted technology - to see if they are early adopters, fast followers, laggards or simply opt out. No matter the tech, be it new gadgets or new Web services, the pattern is pretty standard in our home.

After me, I can expect my mother (+Terrie Gray) and youngest sister (+Malinda Gray) will try a product. They may not get deep into every single one and want to tell the world, like I do, but they form an opinion and generally know their stuff. In fact, at one point or another, both my mom and sister have worked for Apple. My mom worked for PowerSchool, which was part of Apple at one point, and my sister works in Apple Retail as an Apple Genius.

Beyond those two, however, there is a gap. My second sister and my oldest brother may get accounts, but participation is pretty slim. And if you go further down the line, my dad and youngest brother are the least like to have any accounts or gadgets. Neither one of them has a Google+ account, and neither one has a Facebook account either. I remember years ago my dad wouldn't even sign up to the company newsletter I wrote until he had read through the company's privacy policy to ensure I wasn't going to give his email address away.

If you read much of the press, you'll come away thinking that men are the overwhelming early adopters. We're certainly the loudest. But on Google+, my wife (+Kristine Gray), mother and sister are here, and the rest of the family will need a small push. In extended family, I have aunts and female cousins who are here, but again, the men need a push. It's quite interesting to me to see that.

What is your experience? Does your family have the same digital divide, and how are you seeing geekiness spread by gender in your home?

/via My Google+ Profile