InstaGranny: Teaching Older Adults About Social Media

Ho can older adults in Europe be moilized to sfely partake and benefit from social media

“Older adults should first be educated in how to use devices, before they could start learning how to use social media. (…) workshops with a personal approach and individual assistance prove the most effective. The most suitable location to organise the workshop is a local community.”

Studenten Europese Studies van de Haagse Hogeschool deden een onderzoek naar ‘How can older adults in Europe be mobilized to safely partake and benefit from social media’. Een van hun, Ruben Vermeer, interviewde mij via Skype. Ik doe graag mee aan dat soort onderzoeken, want het is prettig om kennis en ervaring te delen. Ik ben natuurlijk altijd nieuwsgierig naar de resultaten: wat komt er uit, wat kunnen we er meer mee en wat kan ík er nog mee. In dit rapport zie ik voldoende handgrepen!

Hieronder deel ik de Samenvatting. Wil je het hele onderzoek lezen, dan kan dat via deze link naar het rapport  Instagranny, Teaching Older Adults About Social Media (pdf).

Executive Summary

This report provides a study and analysis of the question: ‘How can older adults in Europe be mobilized to safely partake and benefit from social media?’ This question was divided in sub questions regarding older adults’ perceived notions of social media, the benefits and barriers of it and the most effective way to educate them in the medium. Desk- and field research were used to study the topic. Interviews were conducted with: independent expert Annet van Betuw and Pauline Power of Age Action Ireland, who both provide social media training for older adults.

A limited questionnaire was conducted among 50 older adults in the Netherlands. Moreover a focus group with four older adults was organised. Both the focus group and the survey provided helpful data on older adults perceived notion of social media. The lack of privacy was perceived as the main risk of the use of social media, followed by cybercrime.

Through desk research it was established that social media provides a means for older adults to increase their wellbeing, health and cognitive capability, while decreasing loneliness. Moreover, the academic sources showed that older adults were more positive towards social media, when they had more knowledge about it.

When it comes to the most effective method to educate older adults in social media, the interviews provided great insights. It was established that older adults should first be educated in how to use devices, before they could start learning how to use social media. The report concludes that workshops with a personal approach and individual assistance prove the most effective. The most suitable location to organise the workshop is a local community, since it would be more accessible for older adults.

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