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How older people get younger

In this step, we explain a bit about how smartphones can be seen as making people younger.

As noted previously, in most regions, though not, for example, in Japan, smartphones initially were adopted mostly by younger users and became associated with youth culture. At first, this meant older people were excluded, but once they too start using smartphones, they may start to share some of those youthful associations of the smartphone as a result. In addition, they may use smartphones to directly re-engage with the things they enjoyed when they themselves were young, such as music or hobbies they gave up in their youth.

In the film above, there are multiple examples of how smartphones help people feel younger, from across several fieldsites.

Of course, ageing is only partly a matter of how we feel, our subjective experience. It is also a question of how other people regard us and define us.

If you regard yourself as ‘older’, how does your experience relate to the general points made in this and the previous step, about changes in the experience of ageing?

Was this different from what you expected or different from what you observed for your parents or grandparents around the same age as you?

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An Anthropology of Smartphones: Communication, Ageing and Health

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