A Qualitative Interview Study on Older Adults’ Attitudes Towards Social Networking Sites
ISSN der Zeitschrift
Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.
We present a qualitative interview study on older adults attitudes towards social networking sites (SNSs), in particular on reasons that keep them from using SNSs or entice them to do so. In cooperation with a multigenerational house in Bavaria (Ger.: Mehrgenerationenhaus, abbr. MGH), we conducted eight semi-structured interviews with older adults (50+) who were involved in computer tuition at the MGH. We recruited two different participant groups: 1. tutors, older adults with advanced computer skills who give free computer lessons and 2. tutees, participants of said lessons with relatively fewer computer skills. Although our sample included dedicated Facebook users, we found prejudices towards SNSs to be prevalent among our interviewees. Our findings indicate that security concerns and a lack of knowledge play a big part in keeping participants from using SNSs. Among the reasons fielded for SNS use were particular forms of participation and social interaction, but also pastimes and hobbies. Though more of the tutors are using SNSs, we could not find stark differences in attitudes towards SNS usage between tutors and tutees.