Parents Way More Tech-Savvy Than Their Millennial Kids Think

Survey reveals whopping disconnect between 18-34 year-olds and their

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Millennials and their parents may agree on some things, but in
surprising ways, technology isn’t one of them.

A new Parent-Millennial Child Tech Survey from Best Buy finds that fewer
than one-third of millennials think their parents are very comfortable
buying the right personal tech for themselves. Parents strongly
disagree, however, with 66 percent saying they do just fine, thank you
very much.

The just-released survey reveals similar misconceptions about tech
support among parents and their millennial kids: almost half (47
percent) of millennials say their parents turn to them for tech help at
least once a week. But parents say they’re not nearly so dependent on
their kids: only 17 percent said they seek help from their kids that
often. Parents do admit, though, to asking their children for help, with
more than half saying they ask for help at least once a month.

“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 Derek Meister, a Cleveland-based Agent with Best Buy’s Geek Squad.
“This survey reinforces what we see every day — parents are often tech
savvy and seek advice in very different ways.”

Among the survey’s other key findings:

  • Millennials give parents little credit for making the most of their
    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.

    Squad Agent Meister serves clients of all generations and has been his
    own parents’ tech guru for decades. He offers this advice for
    millennials who are called upon by mom or dad for tech support:

    • Understand the issue is comfort, not ability. Don’t
      underestimate your parents’ interest or ability. Find out
      specifically what about their tech makes them uncomfortable and
      help them overcome that. For example, touchscreens come naturally
      to a teenager but not necessarily to someone older – the nerves in
      the finger are less sensitive with age, and older people may touch
      more heavily. Help them compensate for that.
    • Simplify their tech. “I love tech, but I know not
      everybody else does,” Agent Meister said. “If your mom is
      frustrated by her laptop, smart phone or tablet, find ways to
      simplify things.” Uninstalling apps mom doesn’t use is one way to
      reduce the likelihood that she gets lost in the options. You might
      want to go as far as replacing her tech with something simpler.

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

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.


Best Buy Public Relations
Paula Baldwin, 612-231-5146