Perception of Digital Integration and Companions for Older Communities in China in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic


In the era of rapid aging and information superposition, accelerating the digital integration of the elderly and narrowing the digital divide of the elderly are the new requirements and actual contents of encouraging active aging in the digital society. Due to the ongoing pandemic COVID-19, the majority of the world's elderly population reported feeling socially isolated and having infrequent contact with others. The web-based social interaction platforms were the only means by which this segment of the population remained involved and could communicate, indicating that virtual communication has the ability to prevent or significantly reduce seniors' social isolation. It is essential to advocate for technology-based policies and initiatives that encourage internet use among the elderly in order to improve their social and emotional well-being; this could also assist in reducing depression among this demographic. In the older communities of China, a questionnaire survey and interviews were conducted to analyze their perception of digital platforms, experiences using the online social platforms during the pandemic, and their acceptance of such provisions for an engaging living environment and establishing an online and offline knowledge-sharing community. According to the respondents, the Chinese young-old with relatively high levels of education have good adaptability to modern society and demonstrate a strong willingness to share their experience and assist others after retirement using digital media. The majority of respondents regarded social interaction, digitalization, emotional support via digital companions, and selffulfillment favorably, and had a positive opinion toward adopting current day technology for social and emotional well-being.

Author Information
Mohana Das, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Newman Lau, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Cheuk Yu Kelly Tang, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Zhengtong Lin, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: EGen2022
Stream: Entrepreneurship/Silver Economy

This paper is part of the EGen2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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