Title: Older adults and online communities: recent findings, gaps and opportunities

Authors: Ryan A. Ebardo; Merlin Teodosia C. Suarez

Addresses: De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines; José Rizal University, #80 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City, Philippines ' De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines

Abstract: Rapid population ageing and wider access to technology create opportunities for older adults to engage in online communities where they participate in various forms of social exchanges. Older adults are thriving online and it is paramount for research to present the recent directions of scholarly works to depict the everyday digital lives of this specific social cluster. Through a systematic literature review, we identify 20 papers investigating online communities of older adults from the last six years. Participation by older adults in online communities are primarily motivated by cognitive benefits, engagement and enjoyment. Further inquiry revealed that they are adopting communities in social media, that socio-cultural contextualisation is vital and modern methodologies are appropriate. We direct the attention of future studies towards the impact of social media, effects of phases in late life and inclusion of older adults from different cultural backgrounds to depict today's reality of their digital lives.

Keywords: older adults; online communities; social media; literature review; web-based communities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2021.116598

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2021 Vol.17 No.3, pp.200 - 216

Received: 06 Feb 2020
Accepted: 29 Jun 2020

Published online: 28 Jul 2021 *

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