Researchquestion: How are elderlyusingICT’s?What’sthetypeofusing? Why? Are theytechnofobic? WhatistheirattitudetowardsICT’s?
Besides their personal value, collections of mediated memories raise interesting questions about a person’s identity in a specific culture and at a certain moment in time. Moving from a shoe memory box to a hard-drive memory addresses the transition/shift to the digital age.We’re talking about individual memories, but they are also related to collective identity and memory – it would be the Giddens “duality of structure”, where there’s no I without Us and vice versa.
Her childhood started in the country side, where she worked in her parent’s small subsistence agricultural field. When she was “older”, with 6 years old, she started to take care of the animals.She never went to school, because in her village there wasn’t any school. When she was 7 years old, she moved to Lisbon city, where she went to work as a servant. She remembers of taking a big bread and throwing little crumbs of bread to the floor to show her the way back home.She keeps an old photo, but she kept it so well, she doesn’t know where. It was one of the only items of her family memory box. She learned the numbers when she was already an adult and she can now write her name.Her son gave her a mobile phone, that she only uses to receive calls, as she only has to press the green button. She prefers the telephone though. Her grandchildren take pictures with the mobile phone and share with her. One of them uploaded a family picture as the main image of the grandmother’s mobile phone. She never touched a computer, but she’s curious about it. At first, she thought the computer was like a television, but then realized that you could actually “write” and her grandchildren used to do the school assignments and play.She knows that she can receive photos through an email. She received photos of a grandchild that lives in Paris and saw him through a web cam. She never saw him in person. In these moments, she’s always with someone at the computer, because she’s afraid of ruin it and she doesn’t know what the words mean. She tells that one of her daughters keep all the photos in the computer, because it’s cheaper. Associates technology with family proximity and knowledge.
Was born and lived all his life in Lisbon. Recalls that in his childhood he had a St. Bernard dog, his partner in crime, and his best friend. He didn’t have any brothers or sisters.Keeps his family memory box, with photos and his mother’s poems. He also keeps some toys, like his first little train that he’s father brought from England. His childhood memories are filled with affection, plays and delicious food. He missed that time. He has a mobile phone, only for calls, because the rest is complicated for him. He bought a computer when he’s wife died, because he felt really lonely and needed a distraction. But, he mainly uses it to keep photos, as he bought a digital camera. He says it’s a good tool, because prevents you to print pictures you don’t like, so it’s cheaper. He attended IT classes at the Senior University and knows how to see the news and videos on the Internet, but still feels he’s a beginner and he’s still overwhelmed by this new world. His sons and grandchildren have Internet, but they don’t share anything in the web. But, not even in person. He feels really lonely.
His childhood was extremely happy and free. He had everything and recalls a childhood of plays with his brother and sister. He keeps a family memory box, full of photo’ albums. He has a mobile phone and says he can’t live without it. And makes full use of it, calls, text messages, mms and even Internet access. He pays bills through his mobile phone. He has a computer and learned how to use it at work, before retiring. He loves to explore it and learned a lot on his own. He has a scanner and he’s now scanning old family pictures and photos from Angola, where he was in the war. He’s creating a digital file with Angola pictures and he’s contacting old friends from the army to collect pictures. He says this is a good excuse to organize gatherings with them. He emails a lot, especially shares photos and messages with his family and some colleagues and friends. Thinks the Internet is an amazing new world and he’s happy he can be part of that.
Her childhood was a hard working one. She started to help her parents at 7 years old. Her mother didn’t let her go to school, because she had to work with them. When she escaped to go to school, her mother used to beat her. Through the narrative, she was constantly crying, particularly recalling her relationship with her mother. Talks with affection about his father and grandmother though. She tells how she really wanted to learn and have a job. She recalls with happiness her village folk dancing groups and when she had to wash the clothes in the river. In the middle of songs and bathing, they did the laundry. She has a small family memory box, with this picture, when she was 3 years old. She also keeps a towel from her grandmother. She emigrated to Africa, where she lived for 22 years old, and to Brazil, for 18 years. Speaks with enthusiasm about her life abroad and says that she would love to go back to Brazil. These experiences made her more open-minded about life, as she likes to emphasize. She’s learning to use the computer and she’s really happy about it, as it’s an opportunity to finally learn. She likes to check news and pictures from Brazil. She has a mobile phone, she uses it daily to talk to her family. She lives at a senior home in Fundão.
Family Memory Box
FamilyMemory Box: Urban and Rural Constructions<br />Fausto Amaro<br />Bárbara Barbosa Neves<br />Centre for Public Administration & Policies<br />Institute of Social and Political Sciences<br />Technical University of Lisbon <br />
I. Background<br />Research Project “Elderly and ICT usage in Lisbon”:<br />500 questionnaires to individuals with 65 or older, and semi-structured interviews.<br />72.4% had mobile phones, 13.2% used computers, of which 9.8% used the Internet.<br />77% think computers are important for the country’s development, and 67% think the same about the Internet. <br />62% would like to learn how to use both. <br />
II. Framework<br />Adding audio and video to our family memory box - “mediated memories” (José van Dijck, 2007).<br />Moving from a memory shoebox to a hard-drive/digital memory (computer, mobile phone, external disks, Internet)?<br />The web also emerges as a new space/tool for memories storage, sharing, construction and reconstruction.<br />
Social Media</li></li></ul><li>III. Goals<br />To compare urban and rural family memories, aiming to observe thematic differences.<br />To explore childhood memories of family life.<br />To explore the inter-generational sharing of memories in this age of digital cameras, mobile telephones, computers and Internet. <br />
IV. Exploratory Study<br />5 semi-structured interviews:<br /> 2 men, 3 women<br /> Between 68 and 88 years old<br /> Childhood in rural/urban areas<br />Grounded Theory approach <br />
VI. Preliminary Analysis: Rural/Urban Constructions <br />
VI. Preliminary Analysis: Memories in the Digital Age<br />The interviewees reinforce the “transition” to this “mediated memories” and digital phase.<br />Even if they still have limitations dealing with technology, they all have now a digital family memory box.<br />They understand the dynamic role of the computer and the Web in memories storage, construction, and reconstruction. <br />
VII. Final Remarks<br />Even if the data collected is not enough to apply the grounded theory, it allows us to define some working hypotheses:<br />They are thematic differences in rural/urban childhood memories. <br />Family memories are important to define/describe individual and collective identity. <br />We can observe a transition to “mediated memories”.<br />ICT have a significant role in family interaction, sharing and construction of memories. <br />