Aging with Technology: Barriers and Opportunities

Monday, 16 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC11 Sociology of Aging (host committee)

Language: English

The present session invites papers investigating the uses and social consequences of technologies such as wearables, apps, communication technologies, mobile devices, and social media in the lives of older adults. Being online has become compelling, as much information, goods, services, and people are most conveniently (and often exclusively) available online. Moreover, an age group is not a static category: many older adults grew up using digital media, and there is no reason for them to stop when they turn 65. We invite empirical and theoretical work that explores different dimensions of how older adults integrate these technologies into their everyday life patterns and rhythms (Khosravi, et al., 2016). The session focuses on both the opportunities provided to older adults from using technology and the ways in which technologies can increase well-being, social connectedness and health. The session also welcomes critical analysis of technology use by older adults. Through the session we hope to gain a better understanding of the complexities of aging and the intersection with wearables, apps, and social media by looking at diverse data sets and drawing conclusions across studies, cultures, and tools.
Session Organizers:
Barry WELLMAN, NetLab, Canada and Anabel QUAN-HAASE, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Oral Presentations
Online Leisure and Wellbeing in Later Life
Vera GALLISTL, University of Vienna, Austria; Galit NIMROD, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Fitting into the Public Milieu: Findings from a Participatory Inquiry Study on Use of GPS Technologies By People with a Dementia
Ruth BARTLETT, University of Southampton, United Kingdom; Petula BRANNELLY, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom
Cellphone Use and Happiness Among Older Chinese Adults: Does Urban/Rural Residence Status Matter?
Xiangnan CHAI, Western University, Canada; Hina KALYAL, Western University, Canada
Networked Individualism Among Older Adults: Digital Media Use and Personal Network Structures
Hua WANG, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, USA; Barry WELLMAN, NetLab Network, Canada; Renwen ZHANG, Northwestern University, USA
Dividing the Grey Divide: How Older Adults’ Online Attitudes, Skills, and Activities Vary
Anabel QUAN-HAASE, University of Western Ontario, Canada; Barry WELLMAN, NetLab Network, Canada
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