“For us, Alibaba was just a story”: Despite the power of habit older people are gradually adopting the digital discourse

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Shlomit Manor
Arie Herscovici


Information technology (IT) can help older people continue to live independently and actively for many years, yet many of them express fear of it, perceive it as a threat, and find it difficult to navigate the digital arena and enjoy the benefits of IT. The purpose of this study is to examine the technology discourse of older people in Israel, and what it reflects. In addition, the study seeks to understand the extent to which IT is present in their lives, how they experience it, and the changes it brought to their lives.

To that end, we interviewed 40 older people aged 65–93 who were attending day centers. The findings, which were examined in light of the continuity theory, reveal different levels of resistance to IT, which reflect the full spectrum, from rejection to acceptance. More­over, the continuity strategy and adherence to familiar patterns do not necessarily prevent adaptation to change. The findings reveal an ambivalent technology discourse, incoherent, and laden with
internal contradictions.


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