Bridging the Social Media Usage Gap from Old to New: An Elderly Media Interpersonal and Social Research in Taiwan

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Abstract

Understanding the media usage and interpersonal communication that the elderly have been familiar with is valuable for designing social media for the elderly. We conducted interviews for acquiring the data about attitudes and behaviors of the elderly, and then analyzed the transcripts to discover the patterns of the elderly in media usage and social life. The findings show that in media usage our subjects prefer watching TV and contacting people with phone/mobile phone in their leisure time. Also they prefer the habitually daily routine of watching TV in the living room although they appreciate the flexible selectivity of using a computer, but have difficulties with these new media. Activities such as weddings and funerals remain the important chances to retrieve relatives, and physical contact still remains the primary interaction for elders. Fitting in with the elderly habits in daily life to design is discussed.