Applying Gerontographics in the study of older Internet users

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Abstract

One of the main weaknesses of studies on older Internet users is a lack of differentiation among users. This study sought to explore whether gerontographics, an approach to segmentation of older adults based on individual psychological and physical well-being, is applicable in research on older Internet users. For that purpose, the study examined members of online communities for senior citizens. An online survey was conducted with 218 members of sixteen such English language-based communities and subsequent analysis demonstrated that their members may indeed be segmented according to their reported health and subjective well-being. Moreover, the results displayed significant differences among the groups in their background characteristics, interests, and perceived benefits of participation in the communities. These findings showed that online activities may be differently experienced by audience segments with dissimilar physical and psychological well-being. Consequently, they constitute powerful evidence of the value of the gerontographics in studies of Internet use and successful aging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-64
JournalParticipations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies
Volume10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013

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