‘Nearer to being characters in a book’: how older people make sense of online communities and social networking sites

Harley, Dave, Howland, Kate, Harris, Eric and Redlich, Cara (2015) ‘Nearer to being characters in a book’: how older people make sense of online communities and social networking sites. In: 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Kauai, Hawaii.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (213kB)

Abstract

This study looked at the relationship between local and
online forms of community engagement for a small
group of older people in the South of England.
Interviews and a focus group were used to establish
their understandings of online community and social
networking sites (SNS) within the context of existing
relationships in local communities. Past experiences of
local community influenced expectations for online
community and its authenticity. At the same time four
catalysts were identified which motivated engagement
with community resources both online and locally.
These were: ‘spaces and places’, family, roles and
loss. A sense of ‘real’ community was maintained
through meeting people face to face with online
communities and SNS being used predominantly as
tools for achieving this aim. Exploration of the
catalysts offers ways that greater community
involvement might be further facilitated through design
initiatives that make online community feel more ‘real’
to older users.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA0076 Computer software
Depositing User: Kate Howland
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2015 10:50
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2016 13:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/52236

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Older People's Engagement with Online and Offline CommunitiesG1154EPSRC-ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCILRE4500735742