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“He explained it to me and I also did it myself”: How older adults get support with their technology uses


Hunsaker, Amanda; Nguyen, Minh Hao; Fuchs, Jaelle; Djukaric, Teodora; Hugentobler, Larissa; Hargittai, Eszter (2019). “He explained it to me and I also did it myself”: How older adults get support with their technology uses. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, 5:1-13.

Abstract

Given that older adults constitute a highly heterogeneous group that engages with digital media in varying ways, there is likely to be large variation in technology support needs, something heretofore unaddressed in the literature. Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews with a multinational sample of older adults, the authors explore the support needs of older adults for using digital media, including their perceptions of whether the support they receive meets their needs. Participants obtained assistance from both informal (e.g., adult children) and formal (e.g., computer classes) sources. However, the support given can lack immediacy, leaving older adults dependent on others’ availability to provide it. Educational approaches that emphasize individualized support and wide availability might allow an improved experience for a population that is increasingly online with an interest in a wide range of activities.

Abstract

Given that older adults constitute a highly heterogeneous group that engages with digital media in varying ways, there is likely to be large variation in technology support needs, something heretofore unaddressed in the literature. Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews with a multinational sample of older adults, the authors explore the support needs of older adults for using digital media, including their perceptions of whether the support they receive meets their needs. Participants obtained assistance from both informal (e.g., adult children) and formal (e.g., computer classes) sources. However, the support given can lack immediacy, leaving older adults dependent on others’ availability to provide it. Educational approaches that emphasize individualized support and wide availability might allow an improved experience for a population that is increasingly online with an interest in a wide range of activities.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Older adults, technical support, social support, technology use, Internet skills, Internet use, qualitative interviews
Language:English
Date:4 December 2019
Deposited On:05 Feb 2020 11:20
Last Modified:05 Feb 2020 11:20
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:2378-0231
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/2378023119887866

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