Andrea Rosales and Loredana Iván presented their papers at the second edition of the International Conference on Qualitative Research in Communication 2015, celebrated in Bucharest, Romania between the 23rd and 25th of September.
Andrea presented her paper co-authored by Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol titled “Older people and smartphones, beyond WhatsApp”. In this study, the authors analyzed smartphone usage patterns by users 60 years old or over combining panel survey data and focus groups sessions. The analyses focused on four questions: what, when, where, and why participants use their smartphones the way they use them. Some of the results showed that all age groups use their smartphone more frequently during weekdays; that instant messaging, games, and social network sites were the most used; and that they access the Internet using wifi more predominantly than mobile data. The findings point to the demystification of age stereotypes in relation to digital technologies.
Loredana presented her paper “The use of social media in family communication among grandmothers and grandchildren”, co-authored by Shannon Hebblethwaite. In their paper, they examined the motivations, ICT skills and usage patterns of grandparents (specifically grandmothers) in communicating with their children and grandchildren living abroad. The analyses of several interviews of older women in Romania and Canada, in addition to a content analysis of their Facebook profiles, suggest the emergence of four themes: (a) their tendency to switch from different devices to keep family relations using Facebook; (b) their relative passive use of Facebook focusing on pictures and quotations; (c) their usage being influenced by social norms on decency and privacy; and (d) their preference for telephone rather than Facebook for personal communication with family members.
Both papers were presented in the panel “Ageing, Communication & Technology (I)” chaired by Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol, who also chaired the panel session “Ageing, Communication & Technology (II)”.