Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This presentation focuses on developments in computer literacy among the elderly and the hindrances to that development, particularly among widows and widowers. Research has shown that computer literacy counteracts loneliness and depression, and aids in the bereavement process, but barriers for elderly people are still numerous. In this presentation I survey the work of literacy scholars Cynthia Selfe and Gail Hawisher as well as numerous articles on senior studies to provide context for my assertions that supportive communities and web-design changes are necessary to encourage Internet use among a wider group of seniors. I look to sites like widowsorwidowers.com and seniorpeoplemeet.com as models for these design changes. Such discourse communities also provide an invaluable understanding of how seniors engage with the Internet and develop a feeling of connectedness online.

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