Top 20 things older and younger generations are teaching each other

The top things young adults are teaching older generations include how to use WhatsApp, how to scan a QR code, tips on setting up a Zoom call – and which apps are good to download, research has found. A study, of 2,000 adults, found nine in 10 18-24-year-olds (89 percent) have shared tips with people who are older – including using modern slang, how to play a video game, and how to track energy use on a smart meter display.

Other handy hints given to the older generation are how to use an air fryer, the best ways to stay energy efficient, and how to use mobile banking.

And 86 percent believe learning from younger friends, or family members, can be helpful for those who lack confidence when using modern technology.

But the transfer of knowledge works both ways, with 42 percent of 18-24-year-olds claiming they also learn tips and tricks from older people. The over-65s have shared advice including how to be respectful, bleed a radiator, and use correct grammar.

Identifying plants and flowers, how to make a family recipe, and money-saving tips, are also among the pearls of wisdom passed down to the younger generation by their elders. And 84 percent believe there is a lot to learn from family members of all ages.

The research was commissioned by Smart Energy GB, which has teamed up with singer Melanie Blatt and her mum, Helene – who recently appeared on the hit TV show, Race Across the World, helping each other to navigate their way across land and sea.

The pair are now helping people to see how the transfer of knowledge between generations can be useful to both parties.

Melanie said: “It’s one of the most important things to progress and grow as a person, learning from the older generation. You’re supposed to learn from the past and their wisdom.

“Especially with mothers and daughters, there’s always going to be that thing of like, you know best. But then when you do become a mother, suddenly everything your mother ever told you that probably ticked you off when you were young starts to make sense.

“If I have a tech issue I’ll ask literally anyone who’s around me – my mum, my daughter. She’s my number one for tech support, because anyone knows more than me – but even I think a smart meter’s display is simple and easy to use.”

The research went on to find 42 percent struggle to keep up with new technology as they get older. One in 10 of the older generation do not feel confident about using new tech – with smart watches and video games the things they are most unsure about.

However, 42 percent say they’re more likely to keep up with modern technology if it means they can participate in conversations with younger friends or relatives – and 94 percent of over-65s agree that you are never too old to learn something new.

Some of the top things they have mastered in the last five years include becoming more confident using smartphones (55 percent), as well as understanding how to use a smart meter and in-home display (29 percent).

Meanwhile, 53 percent of younger adults believe that spending time with older relatives or friends makes them feel wiser, according to the stats, by OnePoll.

Victoria Bacon, director at Smart Energy GB, said: “Being able to give and take advice from friends and family is a really important way to learn – especially when it helps to make life easier day-to-day.

“Requesting and using a smart meter is a great example of this, and really simple, even if you’re not confident using more modern technology.

“Smart meters are installed at no extra cost by your energy supplier, and only measure how much energy you’ve used. They work just like a traditional meter, but take away the hassle of taking and sending meter readings yourself.”

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