Old But Not Out: Social Media Use and Older Adults' Life Satisfaction
Social media has the potential to have a positive influence on older adults' quality of life. This study explores how older adults use social media and the implications of the use on their life satisfaction. A sequential mixed-method approach is used. First, focus group interviews were conducted with older adults in Thailand, and a two-step sorting procedure is employed to develop comprehensive measures of social media use activity and their life domain affiliation. Next, a field survey is used to evaluate the influence of satisfaction from social media use on domain life satisfaction and overall life satisfaction. The findings suggest that older adults integrate social media into activities in several life domains, including family, friend, community, health, consumer, education, self, leisure, and social. Satisfaction from social media use activities positively associates with domain life satisfaction in all those life domains. The comprehensive measures of social media activities enable us to extensively theorize social media use and illustrate that it has a different meaning for older adults compared with young adults.
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