Study Discovers How Tech Affects Seniors’ Psyches

by Myla Cruz

Technology is commonly associated with youth, but a new study from Stanford University finds higher levels of mental and physical well-being among those senior tech users. 

“Using tech to connect with loved ones was related to higher life satisfaction, lower loneliness and general attainment of meaningful goals – being happy [and] independent,” says researcher Tamara Sims of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

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The study involved 445 adults aged 80 or older, who were surveyed online or via telephone. Study participants answered questions regarding how and why they used information and communication technology tools such as cellphones, personal computers, and video streaming services. They also responded to questions regarding their psychological and physical well-being. 

“[Those 80 years and older] might be underrepresented because of our youth-centric culture,” explains Dr.Tamara Sims, Ph.D., lead author of the research report. “They may also be overlooked in many studies because despite being the fastest growing segment of the population, historically, they are a brand new subgroup,” Sims  said. However, as Sims further explains, “In the past century, the American life span has increased an average of 30 years.” 

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Sims’ research and the Stanford study at large offers a blissful glimpse into the inner-workings of digital accessibility and its effects on mood. For those older and younger, a Facetime call, or liking a photo can mean brighter emotions, feelings of purposefulness and more happiness as a whole. 

These senior adopters are taking active steps to conquer the challenges that often alienate their demographic. They’re exploring new territories, to make the most out of life. Similarly, the subjects of our new show Conquered who break boundaries, and overcome obstacles to realize lifelong goals. 

How does your smartphone or tablet affect you mood and social life? We love to hear from you! Tell us in the comment section below

 

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