The adoption of PCs, new media, and electronic commerce by Gen Xers will play a crucial role in moving the Internet into the mainstream, according to a new report from Forrester Research, Inc., Cambridge, Mass. Drawing on survey data from 120,000 North American consumers, Forrester has identified the technology optimism inherent in each new generation as the driving force behind this trend. Each generation has its technology optimists the people who adopt and proselytize high tech products. Forrester looked at three generations of optimists Gen Xers, Boomers and seniors - and concluded that Gen Xers will embrace and evangelize the Internet as a mainstream technology in much the same way as Boomers have with television and seniors with radio."Optimism is what drives technology purchases and Internet commerce; therefore, locating technology optimists is essential for vendors and on-line marketers to succeed," says Meghann MacKenzie, Forrester analyst and author of the report. "Computer, software, and on-line vendors need to tap into optimists’ ages and motivations - entertainment, family, and career in order to predict a life cycle for consumers’ technology needs."The technology optimism of Gen Xers will support several related trends, each of which will contribute to the mainstream emergence of the Internet. First, Gen Xers will dose the gap in PC ownership, catching up to wealthier Boomers thanks to the emergence of sub-$1,000 PCs. Second, Gen Xers will log on to the Intemet in greater numbers than Boomers or Seniors. Forrester’s survey data indicates that 82 percent of PC-enabled young optimists already use the Web on a regular basis, compared with 65 percent of Boomers with PCs.  Finally, Gen Xers are far more likely to make on-line transactions and to use the Web to for pre-purchase research."Over the next few years, Gen Xers, Boomers, and seniors will evolve differently, using the Internet in distinct, specialize...