Download PDFOpen PDF in browser

Older people’s Online Information Search During the Pandemic

EasyChair Preprint no. 6137

7 pagesDate: July 22, 2021


As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, how competently people search and process COVID-19-related information online has serious ramifications. In this vein, a demographic segment that is particularly research-worthy includes older people, who are usually slower in technology adoption and use compared with younger people. For these reasons, the objective of this paper is to explore how people aged 65+ search and process online information related to COVID-19. Fifteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted in the UK. The older people were found to maintain varied and broad information portfolios. Many found the internet to be an efficient avenue to seek and share information. The participants generally dismissed social media but deemed authoritative information sources (e.g., the WHO website) to be reliable. They were cautious about scams and misinformation online, and were likely to adopt an ‘if in doubt, avoid’ approach to unfamiliar sites. The study shows that older people in their effort to avoid misinformation may limit their information consumption journeys; nevertheless, this practice keeps them safe. Based on these findings, several implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Keyphrases: age group, COVID-19, e-health, fake news, infodemic, information behaviour, misinformation online, older people, online health information, qualitative research, social media

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Snehasish Banerjee and Ariadne Beatrice Kapetanaki and Lauren Dempsey},
  title = {Older people’s Online Information Search During the Pandemic},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 6137},

  year = {EasyChair, 2021}}
Download PDFOpen PDF in browser