Boomers Most Prolific Emoticon Users

Generation Finds Another Way to Annoy

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What's the universal symbol for midlife crisis?

:(

Despite being all angsty with "life issues" ranging from intimations of mortality to disappointing children to how to get good seats for the Police reunion to crashing the social-security system, baby boomers apparently have more than enough time to trick out their desktops, e-mail and IMs. A new study from the online media company Zango found that of people 18 and over who downloaded its toolbar boomers are "by far the most prolific users."

Forty-one percent of its toolbar users are older than 45, with 45-54 range representing the highest usage. Of Zango's various doohickeys, mid-lifers are rocking the emoticons hardest, with half of users saying the use them regularly. :O.

The other most popular features are e-mail backgrounds, screensavers, weather tools and e-cards.

Zango, it should be noted, reached about 20 million people with content like video ("Insane Multiple Car F1 Crash" ), games (Unicycle Balancer) and screensavers (Dancing Mona Lisa). And now apparently it's one of the greatest sources of insight into the over-45 crowd.