According to the seventh national census, there are 264 million people aged 60 or above in China, accounting for 18.70 percent of the total population. As the number of the elderly increases and the aging of the whole society intensifies, it has become an important content of the comprehensive development of the society to pay attention to the digital survival status of the elderly and improve their digital experience.
On Oct 13, mobile content platform Qutoutiao, the Convergence Communication Research Center of The School of Media and Communication at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and thepaper.cn jointly released the 2021 Report on Mobile Phone Use by the Elderly (hereinafter referred to as the Report), focusing on smartphone use by the elderly over the age of 60. Special attention is paid to the relationship between smart phones and the elderly in parent-child communication, family relations, social participation and other behaviors. In addition, on October 14, the Double Ninth Festival, Qutoutiao, together with the Senior Talents Information Center of China Association for Aging, went to Fengtai and Qingta Dongli communities in Beijing to carry out a “Smart Community Action” to help the elderly learn how to use smartphones. At the same time, qutoutiao launched the “One Hour with the elderly” initiative, calling on young people to accompany the elderly more.
“Silver-haired people” do not lose their enthusiasm for learning, with 56.6 percent of the elderly learning to cook online
The report shows that in the old reason to buy smartphones, “call, use social software such as WeChat” ranks TOP 1, by car, horse, E-mail keep in touch with friends and family the era of the past, old people eager to use new communication tools with friends and family connections, in order to satisfy the demands of the spirit of their emotional interaction. In addition, access to information and understanding of the world is also very important for the elderly, restricted by physical function, the elderly can not follow one’s own desires, say go, but do not go out of the house does not represent a closed mind, through mobile phones can also “know the world”. Taking pictures and shopping online are new things that the elderly want to try. While short videos are popular now, watching short videos has become one of the main leisure and entertainment ways for the elderly to kill time.
When the elderly have smart phones and surf freely in the digital tide as they wish, the report points out that 68.1% of the elderly spend less than 4 hours online, and 29.71% of them spend less than 2 hours online, continuously embracing digital life.
Different from the imagination of the “Internet addiction of the elderly” on the Internet, the elderly participating in this research show their subjectivity and active learning ability in the process of using mobile phones, learning cooking, square dancing, tai Chi yoga and other learning behaviors occur frequently, and 56.6% of the elderly improve their cooking skills through mobile phones. “Voting” and “thumbs up” are the second motivation for the elderly to go online. 45.05% of the elderly often post “help my son/daughter vote” and “help my grandson/granddaughter vote” in wechat groups, often voting once a day for several days. “Paying the living expenses of water, electricity and coal” is one of the mobile phone functions most commonly used by the elderly. 39.05% of the elderly have mobile phones to improve their work efficiency and make their daily life more convenient.
The elderly connect to the Internet to improve intergenerational communication, with 80 percent using mobile phones to make new friends
With the use of smartphones, the elderly feel more in control of their lives, and they believe that smartphones have built a bridge to communicate with their children and saved them from “wandering” to the Internet information island. In terms of family relations, more than half of the elderly agree that “the use of smartphones strengthens communication with their children” and “strengthens parent-child relations”, according to the report.
In the “happy family”, “home and everything” “warm home” WeChat groups such as the family in, whether to go home for dinner, whether to work overtime, and eat what food life information rapidly effective communication, it is obvious that through smart phones, quickly finished the mutual exchange of information between family members, family WeChat group of play to promote intergenerational communication effect.
Deserves attention is that this research also investigates the smartphone role in the process of expanding the old social circle, 80% of the elderly smartphone to help them find more friends, children and grandchildren through social media to interact with the elderly, such as thumb up, review and subjective well-being of the elderly is a significant positive correlation. This once again suggests that in an age when the “digital divide” between the young and the elderly is accelerating, children and grandchildren should use smartphones to communicate with the elderly, which is conducive to building a harmonious family relationship and improving the happiness of the elderly.
More than half of children care about their parents’ surfing, and warm companionship crosses the digital divide
Although the elderly is used to get information by the use of mobile phones, but the real problems that stand in front of them is that for information recognition ability and judgment, they are much lower than the young, and young people for the first time into the online world of elderly impatient, for the information sharing of the older people tend to have positive feedback, in older people smart phones using a lack of confidence in learning.
According to the report, when the elderly share the information they get from the Internet with their children online, 51.05% of the children remind the elderly “not to trust the information on the Internet”, 26.92% of the children think the information shared by their parents is valuable and discuss with them, and 18.97% of the children “do not give feedback” to the elderly’s sharing behavior.
Several elderly people mentioned in the interview that when they ask their children how to use mobile phones, their children are not patient enough. 72.94% of the elderly attributed this situation to “their children are too busy with work”, which can be said to be considerate to their children. Interestingly, 65.13% of the elderly look forward to “children and grandchildren” as the most important solution to the problem of improving mobile Internet access. Patient instruction from their children is the most desirable solution, followed by community courses, universities for the elderly and online teaching videos.
As an Internet platform that actively practices corporate social responsibility, Qutoutiao launched a “One-hour Internet disconnect” action to care for the elderly on the Double Ninth Festival in 2020, calling on young people to share some “online attention” with the elderly. The double ninth festival in 2021, interesting headline together with the China association of older elderly talent information center to carry out the “wisdom helpage into community action”, entered the Beijing fengtai, qingtazhen dongli community, through offline lecture teaching methods such as popularization of the Internet application knowledge, basic operation, help older adults learn to use smart phones at the same time in the offline activities launched “with one hour” initiative, A public welfare video titled “Watching the World with Fun” was released, calling on young people to take the initiative to care for and accompany their parents, so that more young people can help the elderly bridge the digital divide and enjoy digital life.