Online Social Networking in Older Individuals : A Study of Hertfordshire
The penetration rate of Online Social Networks (OSNs) within older individuals of society is still not as large as within the younger generation. Using this as motivation this research aimed to identify and understand the adoption, use and diffusion of OSNs within UK’s older population. For this purpose, a conceptual framework was formed that was then empirically determined using the older individuals demographic group of society. Findings revealed that of the overall 538 aged over 65 participants 66.3% did not use OSNs. It was also found that older individuals will adopt Internet technologies if technology facilitating conditions such as ‘anytime access’ to Internet capable devices and a fast reliable internet connection had significant positive effects on OSN intentions. In terms of influences of peers, it was revealed that older individuals do consider and act upon the views of members in one’s social circle. Contributions for academia include empirical findings of a model for OSNs specific to a demographic group of society. For industry this study identifies specific factors of consideration for the wider penetration of OSNs in UK’s older population. Policymakers can also identify factors that will influence older people to adopt and use OSNs.