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Digital Social Interactions in Later Life: Effects of Instant Messaging on Situational Mood of Older Smartphone Users

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12786)

Abstract

Over the last few years, it has been observed that new digital technologies are gaining acceptance among the over-60s, who are increasingly catching up in terms of the use of smartphones, tablets and notebooks. Particularly the so-called instant messaging apps that are used for everyday communication between family and friends are prevalent. Specific data on the effect of smartphone use in later life, particularly for social interaction via instant messaging, are scarce. Especially with respect to a differentiated and situational in-situ assessments and the inclusion of affective components of well-being outcomes, such as situational mood. In scientific discourse, instant messaging apps are often ascribed the role of stressors that can have a negative impact on well-being. Still, there are no studies examining this for smartphone use in later life. First, findings show that smartphone use as well as instant messaging use in later life not only varies between individuals, but also shows very large intraindividual differences. Second, multilevel analyses show that there is a negative effect of instant messaging on the extent of situational tension, independently of how the social situation was evaluated. These results indicate that the relationship between ICT use and subjective well-being should be considered more situationally and domain-specifically in further research.

Keywords

  • Smartphone use
  • Older adults
  • Situational mood
  • Instant messaging
  • Log data
  • Ambulatory assessment
  • Social interactions

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Wolf, F., Naumann, J., Oswald, F. (2021). Digital Social Interactions in Later Life: Effects of Instant Messaging on Situational Mood of Older Smartphone Users. In: Gao, Q., Zhou, J. (eds) Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Technology Design and Acceptance. HCII 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12786. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-78108-8_33

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-78108-8_33

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