New rules of engagement: How adaptation to online media changes older adults' social connectedness

Hage, E., Offenbeek, van, M. & Boonstra, A., 2020, In : Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 25, 2, p. 182-197 16 p., zmz028.

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Older adults often struggle to adjust to the rapid changes in the digitizing media landscape. In this paper, we study, first, how ten older adults adapt new online media into their daily lives and, by doing so, adjust to the changing ‘rules of engagement’ that guide online-media use in their social surroundings. Second, we analyze how this adaptation process generates change in older adults’ social connectedness. Results suggest that older adults’ non-use of popular online media results in social exclusion. Enhancing their social connectedness, requires older adults to (partially) conform to new communication norms and values. Based on our findings, we propose three adaptation strategies that enhance both offline and online social connectedness.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberzmz028
Pages (from-to)182-197
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Issue number2
Early online date24-Apr-2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • older adults, social connectedness, online-media adaptation, knowledge development, emotional coping, value alignment, use behavior

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