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Parents Are Way More Tech-Savvy Than Their Millennial Kids Think

Parents just don’t understand — it’s a long-held refrain by children.

But, when it comes to technology, parents might understand more than their kids think, according to a new survey conducted by Best Buy.

Less than one-third of millennials think their parents are very comfortable buying the right personal tech for themselves. Their parents strongly disagree, with 66 percent saying they do just fine on their own, thank you very much.

And while almost half (47 percent) of millennials say their parents turn to them for tech help at least once a week,  parents say they’re not nearly so dependent on their kids: Only 17 percent said they seek help from their kids that often.

“We’re often told that young people are more interested in and know more about technology than older adults, but that isn’t necessarily true,” said Geek Squad Agent Derek Meister. “This survey reinforces what we see every day — parents are often tech savvy and seek advice in very different ways.”

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Here are a few other things we learned:

  • Millennials give parents little credit for making the most of their tech. While 60 percent of parents claim they know how to get the most from their technology, only 33 percent of adult children give their parents credit for really understanding their gear.
  • Dad relies on reviews, mom on son. Gender also plays a role in sourcing tech advice.  Among parents who considered their children to be the most trustworthy source of advice, 64 percent are moms and 36 percent are dads.  Dad, in fact, prefers expert reviews (60 percent) to advice from his millennial son or daughter. Moms tend to turn to their sons for tech help more often than their daughters, with 39 percent of sons being tapped compared with 28 percent of daughters.
  • Smart home devices intrigue – and confuse. In an interesting paradox, smart home devices are the products parents are most interested in but confess they’re not confident enough to buy (20 percent).  Parents also have interest but lack confidence in selecting streaming devices (18 percent), smartwatches (13 percent) and home theater systems (13 percent).
  • Happy to help, regardless. One source of agreement from the survey? Some 62 percent of parents say their adult children are happy to help and 58 percent of adult children confirmed that.

Of course Best Buy Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Agents assist people of all ages with technology, and are just a click or call away.  Help for every technology is available at approximately 1,400 Best Buy stores nationwide, as well as online, by phone and in-home.  For more information visit www.bestbuy.com (embed link).



* The Best Buy Parent-Child Tech Survey was conducted from Aug. 27 –  Sept. 6, 2016, among 2,000 U.S. consumers. About half of the respondents were parents of adult children and took a “parent” survey; the other half were children aged 18-34 with living adult parents and took the “adult child” survey. The margin of error was +/- 3 percent.