The information aged: a qualitative study of older adults' use of information and communications technology

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Abstract

Although it is widely perceived that older adults should be making more use of information and communications technology (ICT), academic studies in this area have been limited, especially from a sociological perspective. We still know little, for example, about the reasons and motivations underlying older adults' adoption or nonadoption of ICTs. We also know little about the nature of this use and the support that older adults draw upon regarding ICTs. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we know little about the outcomes and "life-fit" of older adults' (non)use of ICTs. Drawing upon in-depth interview data from 35 individuals aged over 60 years (collected as part of a larger research project looking at adults' use of ICT), this article addresses these issues of older adults' adoption, nonadoption, and use of ICT. From this analysis, the article highlights the key issue of many older adults' ambivalence toward ICT in light of the limited relevance of new technologies to their day-to-day lives. The article concludes by considering what steps can be taken to facilitate wider use of ICT by older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-384
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

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