EasiSocial: An Innovative Way of Increasing Adoption of Social Media in Older People
Online Social Networking has become one of the biggest successes of the Internet. Facebook is the most popular service with over 1.23 billion users. Online Social Networks have the potential to combat feelings of social isolation amongst the aging population. Nevertheless, many older people do not use online social networks given the barriers resulting from a lack of understanding and perceived usefulness. This paper presents the findings from a ten week training course were participants were trained in the use of Facebook and EasiSocial, a newly introduced web application which displays Facebook in a manner which is more suitable for older people. An evaluation study was undertaken of both applications in an effort to gain insight into the reasons why older people (50–80 years old) do not use social media. Findings demonstrated that EasiSocial was statistically easier to learn and easier to use than Facebook and therefore potentially helpful to increase the adoption of Social Media technologies.
KeywordsSocial isolation Technology adoption Web 2.0 Social media Online social networks Facebook
The authors wish to acknowledge the Self Management project at the University of Ulster who provided the tablets used within this study. Invest Northern Ireland is acknowledged for supporting this project under the R and D grant RD0513844.
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