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Information technologies and transitions in the lives of 55–65-year-olds: The case of colliding life interests
Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, University of Helsinki and Aalto University, Finland.
Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, University of Helsinki and Aalto University, Finland.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Idean Enterprises, Inc., Kauppaneuvoksentie 8, Helsinki, Finland.
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2010 (English)In: International journal of human-computer studies, ISSN 1071-5819, E-ISSN 1095-9300, Vol. 68, no 11, 803-821 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

More and more people entering the stage of retirement at around age 55–65 are healthy, active, and also very computer-literate. This trend is rapidly changing the common image of late-midlife technology users, which rests on the assumption that they find it difficult to embrace new technologies and also that their main interests are health related. Although technology use and lifestyles are changing, however, many other aspects of life remain the same. One of these aspects is that of the transitions, or life changes, that generally take place in these years. Besides retirement, these transitions include changes in health, housing, social interaction, work life, and personal finance. People develop different ways of coping with these transitions, which brings up interesting issues related to the late midlife stage. This paper presents a diary-aided interview study of late middle-age adults (N=24) in Finland and Sweden with a focus on the interplay between technologies and transitions. Transitions were found to play a part in how the life interests of late middle-aged persons are often conflictive, forcing them to choose from among various ‘possible selves’. At its best, technology can help alleviate these tensions. This finding is exemplified in the paper’s discussion of two design implications associated  with particular clashes of interests, related to how daily activities are organized and how contact is maintained with one’s friends and family.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2010. Vol. 68, no 11, 803-821 p.
Keyword [en]
late middle age, later midilife, colliding life interests, transitions, life changes, coping strategies
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-36216DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2010.06.007ISI: 000283028900001OAI: diva2:352767
Available from: 2010-09-22 Created: 2010-09-22 Last updated: 2010-09-24Bibliographically approved

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Hedman, Leif
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