Tag Archives: older adults

Why U No Want Facebook?

Why do people resist sites like Facebook and Twitter so much? Part of me thinks it’s because they want to be different and are afraid of actually liking it.  The other part of me thinks it’s a marketing problem. Often these sites are promoted as helping you make new friends. What if you like your current group of friends? Or, they’re advertised as letting you keep in contact “all the time”. Frankly this “always on” idea is a) annoying or b) creepy in today’s age.

How can social media be re-marketed to groups who resist the change so much? Calling all parents, political figures, highly-restrictive companies, older adults! For those who use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked in, G+ – why do you? What do you think would make your stubborn friends sign up? For those who don’t – why don’t you? What would need to happen to encourage you to participate?

-a frustrated social media  + accessibility researcher/graduate student

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Social Media: Friend or Foe


A twitter follower recently tweeted

social media is just a race to see who can have the best life 1st

Is this true? It does seem like people only post attention-grabbing statuses to see who can get the most comments. And no one would try to make it seem like they’re such a horrible person online. The SNS life is the best life. 

This is what I ponder as I consider my own project on older adults and social media. In my interviews with them, they’ve made such comments as:

I don’t expose myself…. I don’t want to get too involved, I guess.


Those sites are too intrusive. I don’t want the access. People are tied to you 24/7 and they don’t need to know all that information. It’s too intrusive.

But maybe the real answer is “My life is already great. I don’t need social media.” Not that I’m trying to force Facebook and Twitter upon my grandmother’s peers, I just think social media has many benefits. When truly looked at, SNS are lands of information. Health information, family updates, and even how-to information for their own interests. The latter of which I’ll explore further in future research. Stay tuned!

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IRB Approved!

Finally the IRB for my independent study research project was approved! This semester I am working to design a new technology to help older adults in online communication and collaboration.

In the past week I was able to

  • collect a LOT of papers previously published on this topic (and save them to Mendeley, the best reference manager tool on the market!)
  • contact the coordinator of the Facebook Over 40 small group at my church to interview her in the near future
  • get approved for a poster presentation at CAPWIC
  • met with Dr. Elizabeth Mynatt from Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (iPaT) and discussed my current research endeavors

In addition, I’ve had a recent interest in crowdsourcing. At the NSBE National Convention, I will be giving a tech talk for the Graduate Student mini-Conference on crowdsourcing and DIY technologies. Therefore I’ve been collecting articles on different uses of crowdsourcing.

In the upcoming week I hope to be able to

  • schedule a few interviews with residents of different independent living homes in the Baltimore area
  • coordinate with an undergraduate collaborator on possible designs for a website
  • finalize my interview questions
  • and blog more!
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