New research from AARP and Microsoft Corp. found that online communication helps bridge the generation gap, but that many people remain concerned about privacy and security.

According to Connecting Generations, a study of people ranging in age from 13–75 years old, the majority (83 percent) think going online is helpful for communicating among family members. They also believe it has helped them understand each other, with 30 percent of grandparents agreeing that connecting online has helped them better understand their teen/young adult grandchildren, and 29 percent of that younger generation saying the same about their grandparents.

Where the generation gap still looms is when it comes to how teens deal with online content that makes them feel uncomfortable. Only 29 percent of teens said they would talk to their parents about it, but 49 of parents said their teens would come to them in such an instance. The same percentage of parents (49 percent) said they have open lines of communication with their teens, compared to 37 percent of teens who agree.

Another interesting difference arises when it comes to privacy and security. The study found that 38 percent of younger people want more information about staying safe, with 27 percent of older adults feeling the same way – but overall, regardless of age, 58 percent said they wish they knew more about how to keep personal information safe.

Related links:

Connecting Generations, downloadable full report [PDF] –

A nifty infographic can be seen here.

Photo by Flickr user JodyDigger, used under Creative Commons license