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Currently submitted to: JMIR Research Protocols

Date Submitted: May 15, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: May 15, 2020 - Jul 10, 2020
(currently open for review)

Warning: This is an author submission that is not peer-reviewed or edited. Preprints - unless they show as "accepted" - should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

Digitalization and the Social Lives of Older Adults

  • Birthe Macdonald; 
  • Gizem Hülür; 


Digital technologies are increasingly pervading our daily lives. Although older adults started using digital technologies later than other age groups, they are increasingly adopting these technologies, especially with the goal of communicating with others. Less is known about how online social activities are embedded in older adults’ daily lives, how they complement other (offline) social activities, and how they contribute to social connectedness and well-being. In this study, micro-longitudinal data were collected from 120 older adults from German-speaking regions of Switzerland to examine these questions. Data collection took place from April 2019 to October 2019. Data collection took place over different time scales, including event-based (reporting all social interactions for 21 days), daily (well-being, loneliness, and technology use every evening for 21 days), hourly (cortisol assessments six time per day for 3 days), and baseline (relevant interindividual characteristics including socio-demographics, health, technology use, personality, and cognitive performance) assessments. Data generated by this project will allow us to understand how older adults use digital communication in their daily lives to communicate with others, how this relates to well-being and social connectedness, and how communication using digital technologies differs from other types of communication depending on situational and individual characteristics.


Please cite as:

Macdonald B, Hülür G

Digitalization and the Social Lives of Older Adults

JMIR Preprints. 15/05/2020:20306

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.20306


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