Not only people are getting old, the new media are too: Technology generations and the changes in new media use

Eugène Loos*, Loredana Ivan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article investigates the changes in the use of traditional and new media by different technology generations. Focusing on the changes in the use of Email, Chat and Social Network Sites by older people, it explores the process by which new media become ‘old’ and reach a saturation point. Collected survey data suggest differences in media use between the three technology generations distinguished in this study: the ‘mechanical’ generation (born in 1938 or before), the ‘household revolution’ generation (born between 1939 and 1948), and the ‘technology spread’ generation (born between 1949 and 1963). This longitudinal and transnational study provides evidence of media saturation, showing that an increase in both the availability of and access to media does not lead to an increase in use, even in older adults who are behind in the adoption of the new media. Finally, the article discusses the findings, arguing for an interplay between individual and structural lag in later life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3588-3613
Number of pages26
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume26
Issue number6
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Individual lag
  • media saturation
  • media use
  • social-structural lag
  • technology acceptance
  • technology generations
  • traditional media and new media

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