Older People’s Attitude Towards Mobile Communication in Everyday Life: Digital Literacy and Domestication Processes

  • Francesca ComunelloEmail author
  • Simone Mulargia
  • Francesca Belotti
  • Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9193)


Older people’s attitude towards mobile communication constitutes a privileged perspective for analyzing domestication processes of digital technologies. By means of a qualitative case study conducted in Italy, we study older users’ motivations and usage practices. We focus on perceptions of mobile phones, adoption and domestication of mobile phones, as well as on usage skills. Participants, aged 60 to 95 years old, typically started to make use of mobile telephony in mid 1990 s and they mainly described a utilitarian approach to the mobile device even though there are cases of anthropomorphization. With a variety of profiles, from assisted to advanced users, those not having smartphones sometimes see touchscreen as challenging. They describe different learning strategies, which are shaped by personal interests. Finally, some participants adopt more sophisticated devices while others decide to slow down their relationship with mobile phones.


Mobile telephony Older people Domestication Learning strategies 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Comunello
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Simone Mulargia
    • 2
    • 3
  • Francesca Belotti
    • 2
  • Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento Di Scienze UmaneLumsa UniversitàRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento Di Comunicazione E Ricerca SocialeSapienza Università Di RomaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Mobile Technologies and (G)Local Challenges Research Group IN3Universitat Oberta de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

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