Older people’s social sharing practices in YouTube through an ethnographical lens

Sergio Sayago*, Paula Forbes** and Josep Blat*
*Information and Communication Technologies Department, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
**Dept of Computer Science, University of Aberdeen

Published in:
HCI 2012, Proceedings of  The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction

Abstract:This paper reports on a classical, face-to-face ethnographical study of YouTube use and social sharing practices by 32 older people (65-90). The study was conducted in a computer clubhouse in Scotland over an 18-month period. Whereas research on Social Network Sites (SNS) is on the rise, very little is known about how people aged 60+ use them in their everyday lives, despite an ageing population. The study shows that the use of YouTube by this group of older people is occasional and motivated by face-to-face or online conversations in e-mails. They watch videos that they find meaningful, do not upload videos because they do not perceive any benefit in it, and search for videos by writing sentences, instead of clicking on categories, to reduce cognitive load. Online comments in YouTube are seldom read nor made. Instead, they make comments in f2f, and/or e- mails, always with key members of their social circles. They rate videos in these online and offline conversations, and share videos by capitalizing on previously learned strategies, such as copy- and-paste. We argue that these results provide a more complete picture of SNS and older people than that given by previous studies, and enable a discussion on their User Experience. We also discuss some implications for design.

- Publisher

S. Sayago, P. Forbes, J. Blat (2012) Older people’s social sharing practices in YouTube through an ethnographical lens. Proceedings of the BCS HCI 2012 People & Computers XXVI, Birmingham, UK, 185-194.