The use of mobile technology and the internet by older people was the subject of research by Fernandez-Ardevol, Sawchuk and Grenier (2017).
They conducted a research among a group of peoples in their 80s and 90s living in a retirement home in Canada in 2012. They tried to find out the use and non-use of digital devices among the octogenarians and the nonagenarians, sometimes called the people of “fourth age.”
For the study, they used qualitative applied thematic analysis. Out of 22 interviewees, six were mobile phone users, four had given up using and 12 had never had one. On the other hand, computers were more popular with them. The non-users had stopped using certain media because they think their age and life circumstances are not relevant.
Although the focus of the research was to find the use of mobile phones, computers, and internet by the older people, the respondents also discussed a wide range of the media during their conversations.
The research reveals that for the octogenarians and nonagenarians, media are tools only for maintaining connections with their near and dear ones while mobile phones are important for emergencies.
To read the full text of the study: http://www.nordicom.gu.se/sites/default/files/kapitel-pdf/10.1515_nor-2017-0396.pdf
Fernández-Ardèvol, Mireia; Sawchuk, Kim & Grenier, Line (2017). Maintaining Connections. Octo- and Nonagenarians on Digital ‘Use and Non-use’ in Nordicom Review 38 (2017) Special Issue 1, pp. 39-51.