Older people and Social Networking Sites


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Slides from a PSIGE conference presentation about older people and social networking sites

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  • The            setup            in            the            video            no            longer            works.           
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    But            luckily,            we            found            a            working            one            here (copy paste link in browser) :            www.goo.gl/yT1SNP
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    Priscila Brito dos Santos

    Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/priscilabritosantos
    Blog: http://respeitopelosidosos.blogspot.com/
    e-Mail: priscilabritosantos@gmail.com
    Twitter: @PriscaBritoRH
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Older people and Social Networking Sites

  1. 1. Online support and social networking: mediated sociability and older people Michael Hardey Hull/York Medical School [email_address]
  2. 2. Use of the Internet <ul><li>In January 2006, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 34% of Americans age 65 used the Internet everyday </li></ul><ul><li>2007 Oxford Internet Survey found that about an third of those over 65 years regularly used the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Wired for the Third Age’ project – email and hobby sites valued </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing use of mobile phones and other mobile technologies by those over 65 years </li></ul>
  3. 3. Use of the Internet
  4. 4. Mediated community ? <ul><li>The Internet has always involved some degree of user participation </li></ul><ul><li>For example, 1996 Sherry Turkle said about Multi-User Domains (MUDs): ‘As players participate, they become authors not only of text but of themselves, constructing new selves through social interaction’ ( Life on the Screen , p.12) </li></ul><ul><li>We know that social participation is beneficial to older people </li></ul><ul><li>But Now … </li></ul><ul><li>More people than ever are involved in creating and consuming the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking sites are changing the ways in which we communicate with and relate to others </li></ul>
  5. 5. Newsgroups (the past) <ul><li>Requires specific software </li></ul><ul><li>Not that user friendly </li></ul><ul><li>C an be slow </li></ul><ul><li>Need to learn the ‘language’ e.g. lol, ;) and so forth </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is Web 2.0 ? <ul><li>It is a term that is used to signify an underlying shift in the basis of the Web </li></ul><ul><li>From a situation where users are predominantly consumers or readers of content to one in which they increasingly generate content </li></ul><ul><li>We are all consumers and producers on Web 2.0 </li></ul>
  7. 7. eHealth web 2.0: Evolution and change eHealth 1.0 (1992-2004/5) Data between experts and agencies, information designed for patients eHealth 2.0 (2004/5- beyond) ‘ Read’ Mode ‘ Write’ & Contribute Information delivery, telemedicine Quality of information… Primary focus Main issue Information consumption Surveillance, quality, data access… ‘ Static’ State ‘ Dynamic’ Web browser Viewed through… Browsers, RSS Readers, anything Organisations, State agencies Content Created by… Anyone – user generation ‘ Experts’ Domain of… ‘ Everyone’
  8. 8. Social Networking Sites (SNSs) <ul><li>MySpace, Friendster, MeetUp, Facebook and so forth </li></ul><ul><li>SNSs only useful if users generate content </li></ul><ul><li>ComScore 2007 study found that older people increasingly using MySpace and Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Older users had similar friendship networks as those under 30 years but are more likely to include family members </li></ul>
  9. 9. Social Networking Sites (SNSs) <ul><li>Any Web browser can be used </li></ul><ul><li>Graphical and user centred interface </li></ul><ul><li>Software sorted resources – e.g. ‘Jane went to your school’ (cf. Friends Reunited) … </li></ul><ul><li>Post notes on friend’s ‘walls’ or email </li></ul><ul><li>Join or organize groups </li></ul>
  10. 10. SNSs Groups <ul><li>Groups organised around a common theme – similar to newsgroups </li></ul><ul><li>Cover everything from arthritis – Star Trek </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusive of other media e.g. NHS Direct Information </li></ul>
  11. 11. Immersive new social media <ul><li>SNSs accessible on mobile devices </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Always connected ’ – ‘twitter’ status up dates </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I feel that the grandchildren are very close as I know what they are up to all the time – but they live America’ (from Wired 3 rd Age) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Not just read/write <ul><li>Nabaztag - speaks SNS content and Twitter messages </li></ul><ul><li>Can also tune into radio stations and podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile devices can locate where the user is e.g. software sort ‘anyone in my network near by …’ or alert a user with asthma of poor air quality from real time data and so forth </li></ul>
  13. 13. SNSs as information hubs <ul><li>SNSs are useful because users are anchored to their real offline identities – unlike newsgroups, game sites … </li></ul><ul><li>Users ‘move’ their offline social networks online – becomes a new way for families to stay in touch </li></ul><ul><li>As users participate in generating or producing content they build up an archive of their ‘everyday life’ that is openly accessible </li></ul><ul><li>SNSs increasing directly link to other resources e.g. site where consumers review pubs (Trusted Places), NHS services (Patient Opinion), Doctors (RateMD)… </li></ul>
  14. 14. Google health records or NHS Connecting for Health?
  15. 15. Not everyone is (or wants to be) connected <ul><li>Digital divide - individuals with no or little connection to the Internet e.g. some older people, those living in poverty … </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights need to recognise some groups will need ‘old’ - that is not Internet based information services </li></ul><ul><li>As health information and choices move online a risk that paper and face-to-face services - that may become residual or lack support </li></ul><ul><li>This may reinforce established patterns of exclusion and ill health </li></ul><ul><li>Points to role for broader ‘get connected’ initiatives e.g. older people need access to the technology but also help in learning how to use it. Once they are online the evidence suggests they feel less isolated, better informed – ‘empowered’ </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sociability <ul><li>Is Web 2.0 ‘me-centred’, or is characterised by community, support and shared projects that emerge through the collaborative acts of individuals? </li></ul><ul><li>On one hand, Web 2.0 seems to be highly individualised. Similar to Castells’ vision: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ the most important role of the Internet in structuring social relationships is its contribution to the new pattern of sociability based on individualism’ ( Internet Galaxy , p.130) </li></ul><ul><li>Castells adds: ‘Now, the dominant trend in the evolution of social relationships in our societies is the rise of individualism, in all its manifestations’ </li></ul>
  17. 17. Community ? <ul><li>We are witnessing ‘a new system of social relationships centred on the individual’ and the rise of new ‘me-centred networks’ (p.128). </li></ul><ul><li>But is Castells right? And is Web 2.0 and SNSs just a form of rampant individualism or might there be a new sense of community emerging from and through it? </li></ul><ul><li>And is Web 2.0 narcissistic and frivolous or might it contain the possibility of new forms of collective sociability and support? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Some responses <ul><li>Older (and other people) enjoy using SNSs </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated media provide high quality - easy to use – ‘real time’ and ‘anywhere’ information </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially provide new ways of delivering services </li></ul><ul><li>New forms of surveillance … </li></ul><ul><li>Users are at the centre of web 2.0 resources </li></ul>
  19. 19. Conclusions <ul><li>SNSs will become increasingly important in the lives of older people </li></ul><ul><li>We need to a) use a SNS b) seek to understand how older people use SNSs – more research </li></ul><ul><li>On the basis of the evidence we have now: SNSs are individualistic in that they provide data dedicated to individual users The connections that are maintained and made give a sense of belonging, community and participation </li></ul>
  20. 20. Information <ul><li>To follow the Web 2.0 culture - participation, openness etc – these slides will be put on: http://www.slideshare.net/ </li></ul><ul><li>A interesting Blog about SNSs: http://properfacebooketiquette.blogspot.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>For researching Web 2.0 - Fielding,N., Lee, R.L. and Blank, G. (eds) (2008) Handbook of Internet and Online Research Methods London: Sage </li></ul><ul><li>  A paper on health and Web 2.0 Hardey, M. (July, 2008) Public health and Web 2.0, Public Health: Journal of the Royal Institute of Public Health </li></ul>