Best Buy Survey Reveals Tech Disconnect Between Parents, Kids

According to a Best Buy study, Millennials and their parents, even if they agree on some things, don’t necessarily concur when it comes to technology purchasing and use.

The new “Parent-Millennial Child Tech Survey” from Best Buy indicated that fewer than one-third of Millennials believe their parents are very comfortable buying the right personal technology for themselves. Parents generally disavow such speculation, with 66% saying they do just fine when it comes to tech purchasing.

Millennials give parents little credit for maximizing their technology employment, with only 33% of adult children saying their parents get the most out of the tech gear they use. For their part, 60% of parents claim they know how to get the most from their technology.

When considering potential technology purchases, 60% of fathers rely on reviews. A large proportion of moms, at 39%, rely on their sons for gift buying and tech advice, the survey determined, but only 28% turn to their daughters. When considering parents who considered their children to be the most trustworthy source of advice, 64% turn out to be moms and 36% turn out to be dads, Best Buy reported.

In what Best Buy characterized as an interesting paradox, smart home devices are the products that most intrigue and confuse parents. Although they are the products that most interest the group, it turns out that a full fifth of parents feel they don’t understand smart home devices enough to make a purchase. Many parents also have interest but lack confidence in selecting streaming devices, with 18% expressing purchase trepidation. The case is the same with smart watches, with 13% of parents expressing unease, and home theater systems, with 13%.

The survey also revealed differing perceptions of tech support, with 47% of Millennials saying their parents turn to them for tech help at least once a week but only 17% of parents saying they depend so much on their kids. Parents admit to asking their children for help, though, 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.”

Best Buy conducted the survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers from August 27 to September 6.