How elders evaluate apps: A contribution to the study of smartphones and to the analysis of the usefulness and accessibility of ICTS for older adults

Joan Francesc Fondevila Gascón, Marta Carreras Alcalde, Swen Seebach, María Jesús Pesqueira Zamora

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Elders are an important part of this society and a group for which ICTs might provide useful answers to existing problems and needs. However, elders and their interests with regard to ICTs have been largely ignored due to a presupposed missing ability to use, a general disinterest in, and a lack of will to learn about ICT developments. This article wants to contribute to the debate about elders and their abilities to use and interests in ICTs. We analysed how elders in focus groups in Spain use mobile ICT applications, how they experiment with them and why they decide to use or not to use them. In our research, we have used apps as an example for ICTs because apps are considered to be flagships for technological innovation, and because, in contrast to call and messenger functions of mobile phones, the motivation for using apps has to come from the individual that uses them. Findings from 4 focus group discussions with elders from Spain suggest that age does not directly influence the perception of, experience with, and evaluation of newest technological developments. Instead past experiences and social contexts in which the technology is introduced play a role. Our results point at the need to find new formulas for introducing, and teaching ICTs to elders, and underline the need to take elders’ emotions with regard to ICTs into consideration when evaluating elders’ ICT uses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-266
Number of pages17
JournalMobile Media and Communication
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • App
  • ICTs
  • digital divide
  • elderly people
  • smartphone
  • tablet

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