Older Adults and the Appropriation and Disappropriation of Smartphones

  • Natalie PangEmail author
  • Samantha Vu
  • Xue Zhang
  • Schubert Foo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9193)


Research in recent years has focused on examining the acceptance as well as the appropriation of technologies amongst older adults, especially in how technologies alleviate issues of functional declines, loneliness, and financial difficulties brought about by ageing. Yet such studies have often overlooked meaningful appropriation or disappropriation of technologies amongst older adults. By drawing on a longitudinal study of ten older adults who were given a smartphone under a corporate social responsibility program by a telecommunications company, we followed the use of smartphones by ten older adult users using in-depth interviews lasting one to two hours each. Our findings revealed a mix of appropriation and disappropriation, which are linked to everyday technological use and routines, attitudes to technology, and social support.


Non-use Technology appropriation Older adults Smartphones 



This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its International Research Centers in Singapore Funding Initiative and administered by the Interactive Digital Media Program Office.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Pang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samantha Vu
    • 2
  • Xue Zhang
    • 2
  • Schubert Foo
    • 1
  1. 1.Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and InformationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Centre of Social Media Innovations for CommunitiesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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