WhatsApp's Influence on Social Relationships of Older Adults

Veronika Hämmerle, Cora Pauli, Rhea Braunwalder, Sabina Misoch

Abstract

Ageing societies and digitalisation are two prominent topics in industrialised nations. This also applies to Switzerland, where the share of older adults using smartphones and instant messaging services is constantly rising. The effects of instant messaging services in terms of social needs have been studied mainly regarding younger and middle-aged adults. According to socioemotional selectivity theory, however, older adults have different motivations and needs regarding their social relationships. Therefore, the results of studies on younger population groups cannot be transferred to older population groups. To bridge this research gap, we conducted a qualitative study with 30 older adults (65+) in Switzerland. We investigated the effects of using WhatsApp on their subjectively perceived quality of social relationships and examined whether the socioemotional selectivity theory is still valid in the face of digital communication. We conclude that using WhatsApp is in line with the socioemotional selectivity theory and has an intensifying effect on social relations of older users. WhatsApp is used very consciously to achieve positive ends by allowing older users to select and invest time in meaningful relationships.

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Hämmerle V., Pauli C., Braunwalder R. and Misoch S. (2020). WhatsApp's Influence on Social Relationships of Older Adults.In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health - Volume 1: ICT4AWE, ISBN 978-989-758-420-6, pages 93-98. DOI: 10.5220/0009470100930098


in Bibtex Style

@conference{ict4awe20,
author={Veronika Hämmerle and Cora Pauli and Rhea Braunwalder and Sabina Misoch},
title={WhatsApp's Influence on Social Relationships of Older Adults},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health - Volume 1: ICT4AWE,},
year={2020},
pages={93-98},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0009470100930098},
isbn={978-989-758-420-6},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF

JO - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health - Volume 1: ICT4AWE,
TI - WhatsApp's Influence on Social Relationships of Older Adults
SN - 978-989-758-420-6
AU - Hämmerle V.
AU - Pauli C.
AU - Braunwalder R.
AU - Misoch S.
PY - 2020
SP - 93
EP - 98
DO - 10.5220/0009470100930098