Changing Technologies, Changing Lives: Older Adults’ Perspectives on the Benefits of Using New Technologies

Gökçe Karaoglu, Eszter Hargittai, Amanda Hunsaker, Minh Hao Nguyen


Though older adults are online in increasing numbers, many still lag behind other age groups. Age is one of the most persisting aspects of digital inequality, and given the many potential benefits of digital media for older adults, it is an inequity that deserves continued attention. Drawing on in-depth interviews with a multinational sample of older adults from five countries, we explore what benefits older individuals believe they derive from new technologies. We find that the majority of participants share several positive experiences, although the dimensions of benefits differ depending on the purpose of use. Negative experiences and opinions also exist. This article offers insights into how older adults who have not yet crossed the digital divide may be encouraged to take that step, given positive experiences voiced by their peers.


older adults, ICTs, Internet use, Internet skills, qualitative interviews, benefits, Internet outcomes, digital inequality, digital divide

Full Text: