Trajectories to Community Engagement: Understanding older people's experiences of engagement with online and local communities

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Harley, D. ; Harris, E. ; Howland, K. (2014)
  • Publisher: University of Leeds

The communal benefits of online communities and SNS are enjoyed by many Internet users but remain of limited appeal to many older people. In this study we consider how a small group of older people in the South of England engage with these technologies showing their motivations and the role of existing relationships in the local community with regards to this engagement. Four catalysts are identified which determine trajectories towards and away from online engagement and these are: family, roles, loss, and ‘spaces and places’. The resulting trajectories are discussed along with their implications for policy making and technology design.
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