Georgiana Murariu

Georgiana Murariu

Public dissemination officer and research assistant on the ASSA project and an advocate for anthropology!

Location London

Activity

  • Thanks, Michael! It's great to hear your perspective on this. What made you change your mind?

  • Thanks, Vinaya! Where are you based, if I can ask? The type of information being shared on WhatsApp in your region sounds really interesting - who was sending the information about the beds available, do you know? It sounds like a piece of information a health professional would be familiar with (rather than 'patients').

  • Thanks, Michael! Really interesting. So in the case of a life-altering medical intervention like an organ transplant, it seems that an 'official', custom-made telephone app for monitoring the condition, is something that is needed to ensure a constant flow of communication between doctor and patient. Is the 2nd person someone who volunteers in a first aid...

  • Thanks Maria! What were you surprised by? The variety of sources that came up?

  • Thanks, Winnet! So do the steps register differently when outside? Is that because when moving outside the house, people take longer steps or something to that effect? Or a temperature issue? (could be, iPhones are notoriously sensitive to cold/hot weather!).

  • That is true - once you know the terminology you are searching for, I find that more specific, targeted, and official resources tend to come up. What is interesting is also what happens when we don't know what we don't know, i.e. when googling a set of symptoms, or a set of vague terms for a condition.

  • Is WhatsApp not very frequently used in Australia? I hadn't considered the Australian market when thinking about the app!

  • That's interesting to know! I guess your results will be highly targeted and customised based on your location (or whether you're searching in incognito mode), previous history and google searches, as well as cookies.

  • @WinnetDyke I suppose it isn't always an easy process!

  • Thanks, Michael! I believe 'Ageing with Smartphones in Ireland' has more around the topic of how people might communicate in ways beyond using the smartphone, although of course there will always be an emphasis on the use of devices to extend and complement certain activities as well as to communicate around them (as many research participants do). You can...

  • @WinnetDyke Great to hear!

  • Thanks Annette!

  • Thanks Mayrose!

  • Thanks Therese!

  • Thanks for the detailed feedback, Maria. Really great to hear you'll be incorporating elements of the course into the material you teach. So good to hear it's helped you think about structuring a comparative project like this as well as helping with approaches for the next academic year.

  • Thanks for taking part!

  • Thank you for your positive feedback, Judith!

  • Thanks Annette!

  • Great to hear, thanks!

  • Happy to hear this - glad you enjoyed!

  • Thank you Maria!

  • Thank you Fajana!

  • Thank you!

  • This is great, Vinaya, thank you!

  • @WinnetDyke That's a good way of putting it!

  • @WinnetDyke Understood! I am glad this step has shed some light on the benefits and drawbacks of the practice. I hope it works out for your community and that both patients and healthcare professionals get some benefit from it.

  • @ThamizoliP Sounds interesting! What is the farmers' project?

  • That's good to hear, thanks very much!

  • You're welcome! Glad you liked the course.

  • Thank you Deanna! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Thanks Misty, it does seem like WhatsApp is not a dominant app in the USA at the moment, with people using iMessage/FB messenger and other apps more. And then of course, there is the privacy side of things - I don't see WhatsApp being adopted 'officially' in clinical settings in Europe either, though some consumer companies (such as internet providers or pet...

  • Thank you!

  • Yes, it has improved the way it ranks results lately. Do you think it is a good idea for Google to 'decide' what is reputable in terms of results?

  • That's really interesting - why do you think that is? Having to download yet another app being considered a hassle? Lack of trust? Lack of knowledge re: using apps? Something else? How does that change their experience of using the smartphone vs. yours?

  • Thanks for sharing this Linda! Yes, visual diagrams of various conditions, especially without warning, can be frightening. In what way do you mean privacy can be an illusion?

  • Thanks for sharing this, Anne! How would you go about checking its credentials?

  • Thanks for sharing this!

  • Thanks for sharing this!

  • Thanks Karen, I don't think it was widespread practice in the UK, potentially due to legal reasons, except where staff maybe exercised their discretion and helped. I think the care system in the UK has been under so much strain that potentially making these WhatsApp videos and sending them to relatives would make care home managers think that it might create...

  • @AnneLüneburg Thanks, Anne! It is true that several high-profile incidents have happened on Zoom, things like trolling and targeted harassment, but I believe they have stepped up their security recently. I completely understand your perspective and having to download a whole app to attend a meeting is cumbersome, for sure. Users should be met where they are -...

  • Both links should have been fixed now.

  • Good point, I think with the rapidly shifting online landscape, emoji and sticker use evolves very rapidly. A younger person once told me that I use emojis like an old person, and I'm 31!

  • Great point, I suppose the vaccine booking system was designed to be as seamless as possible and get as many people booking as possible, so the idea that other tests require consultations or booking routine appointments with the GP means more hurdles. Even so, creating a 'booking' journey online is pretty complex but it seems that the UK govt has been...

  • Thanks Anne, sounds like it is fairly context-dependent then. Do you mean that you don't trust Zoom in general or when it comes to healthcare situations? But then once you were doing the follow-ups, you found them to be okay?

  • Let us know if you are able to access it that way!

  • Hi Karen, thanks for letting us know! It seems to be working for me, but I will leave a couple of different links to it in this comment, in case you are able to access/download it. So you can try this one: http://wwwdepts-live.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/assa/learning-from-whatsapp-best-practices-for-health-ebook/. Alternatively, try this address, which takes you...

  • That's certainly true, Deana. I suppose it depends on what is driving the obsession, too. Is it a desire to maintain control over the body? Or some other anxiety?

  • It sounds like your use of health apps is pretty similar to mine! I also have a lot of them that I don't use. I find that if I don't immediately integrate an app into my daily routine, I almost become blind to it, as it were. YouTube videos have been a real asset during the extended lockdowns around the world.

  • Thanks, Therese! Do you mean that you have not had good experiences with doctors or other healthcare professionals? If so, are you saying that has encouraged you to manage your health 'independently' more?

  • @WinnetDyke Thanks for sharing! So there was an element of one-to-one teaching that not everyone may have access to. Interesting that people took it as being unsociable, I suppose from their perspective, all they see is the 'seen' blue tick and having mastered the app, they may not necessarily think of it as difficult to use at first.

  • @JudithM All very true!

  • That certainly chimes with a lot of the team's research - this age between middle- and old-age, though it depends on the fieldsite. The term 'renaissance stage' is great!

  • That is certainly true - the findings refer to the population the team studied, which may be 'a community in the neighbourhood of NoLo, Milan', or 'a ukulele group in Cuan, Ireland' - sometimes they might say 'in Ireland' or 'in Italy' as shorthand, but the findings certainly don't apply to the whole of the country. Having said that, we can say that at least...

  • Thanks for the positive comment! Yes, there is definitely a social-political aspect to smartphone use!

  • @LindaW Thanks for your comment Linda! That is interesting that you felt you had to use the app (do you mean Google Maps? or 'Find my Friends'?) due to discussions with your family - was it because you were reluctant to use it but it helped you keep in touch with them more efficiently? (No idea if this is correct - just asking!)

  • From what I understand, WeChat does help people communicate but its functionality goes way beyond that, with utility payment and other functions built in. Is that right?

  • Also interesting that you have come across sources that contradict the sandwich generation concept - could you expand on that? I suppose the sandwich generation won't hold true for all fieldsites/regions/communities, as it's embedded in what can be quite specific socio-historical and perhaps also political context.

  • Thanks, Carola! Your point about pensions is echoed in Alfonso's research - he worked with Peruvian migrants in Santiago and found that they had not accumulated enough of a pension pot to think about retiring (even though some had come to Chile decades ago). I am sure this is compounded by the new pension reforms. Alfonso's written a blog about it here, if...

  • I think a lot of people would be relieved to hear that despite claims to intuitiveness, there are actually a lot of not especially user-friendly icons and functions built into these devices! Expanding the scope and sample of how manufacturers do user research might help with some of the problems, though user testing can't uncover everything.

  • Thanks Ana, precisely the point the ASSA team has been making - the phone is more than just a device we use.

  • Yes, that is a good point - increased adoption of the devices after their price went down is also an important factor

  • Thanks Paula! Were there low rates of uptake of the app among the Portuguese population? What do you think would have made the population trust the app more?

  • Welcome back!

  • Thanks Wei! This is similar to some of the examples our researchers encountered - families setting up care protocols to ensure that family members of theirs are OK while still enabling them to have some independence. I can see why for someone who is not used to a phone, a piece of paper with contacts written on it might make them feel safe.

  • Thanks for sharing, Molly. Do you know whether this person would like to learn how to do more with her smartphone? It's interesting that she has mobile data that she saves but not access to Wi-Fi, could access to wi-fi be gained when she goes out/to public places? Thinking about this, knowing that this person is on the receiving end but cannot/does not know...

  • Thanks for the positive feedback, Joanne!

  • What a great outcome for your dad and your family!

  • Sounds similar to something called NextDoor, which is an app in the US and UK where you verify your address using your phone's GPS, then get put into a neighbourhood group where you can share similar things as well as posting about lost items/pets/recent crime and other announcements. A savings group is quite different - often these are found when people may...

  • Thanks, Annabel, I agree, it would be great for courses like these to exist on a wider scale, in the UK at least, I think the major problem would be funding. While there are initiatives and programmes to help people who are digitally excluded, they do not always have the time and resources necessary to teach the 'how tos' of phones, why things work the way...

  • Hi Maria, thanks very much for bringing this to our attention - the reading was in fact meant to be chapter 2 of the book focusing on Ireland (Pauline Garvey, Daniel Miler) and chapter 2 of the book focusing on Italy (by Shireen Walton) as these two chapters in these books focus specifically on ageing in those fieldsites, how categories of ageing are changing,...

  • That sounds similar to a lot of the team members' findings! Thanks for sharing!

  • Glad you are finding it useful David!

  • Completely agree about some of the negative language and 'marketing' associated with getting older. Many older people don't want to be associated with this imagery anymore, including in ASSA's fieldsites. Pauline Garvey, who did her research in Thornhill, Dublin, has written about this on our blog:...

  • it definitely felt that way - many research participants in multiple fieldsites said they felt young and if someone does not experience any physical or cognitive frailties, older age feels more like a continuity of youth rather than a strict rupture. It is when frailties come in that things change.

  • That is very true, thanks for sharing Therese! I believe some of the ASSA team members met quite a few people who felt 'young' even though they might be regarded as older - things like being able to finally pursue hobbies one had never been able to pursue before certainly helped bring about that feeling of youth.

  • Thanks Ying-Tzu! There will be more on the topic in Week 3, and Marilia Duque has also written a manual for how 'best practice protocols' could be applied to WhatsApp use for health. The manual is based on her 16-month ethnography in Brazil and her observations of how the app was used in clinical settings. You can find/download it here:...

  • Thank you for sharing this Violeta, really interesting! Network and infrastructure are big factors that can and do affect smartphone use and habits, absolutely. As is the way the devices are acquired - in some of our fieldsites, it was normal for older people to have inherited devices from family members and there were places where it was less common for them...

  • @XinyueShen That makes sense. So the more they are exposed to the possibilities that the phone may offer, the more they may want one themselves but otherwise they may not feel they are particularly lacking if they haven't been around one long enough to get some benefit from it.

  • Thanks for sharing, Xinyue! What do you think determines whether someone will be a 'cool' grandma/grandpa?

  • Thanks for sharing this Therese! I wondered - why do you think it is that pen and paper seems more 'tangible'/safer? After all, paper forms can just as easily be misplaced, and digital data also tends to be 'stored' somewhere. Not saying one answer is right or wrong - just curious!

  • That's a lovely example of the Transportal Home in real life!

  • Thanks for sharing this Zoe, it sounds similar to the 'cleaning'/'tidying' analogy mentioned in relation to the smartphone - people 'tidying'/cleaning their contacts, deleting photos every month to keep things clean on their phone, etc.

  • Thanks for sharing! Does the 'transportal home' analogy resonate with you in that sense?

  • You're quite right, thanks for sharing!

  • Great to hear this!

  • Sorry about this Jo-Ann, I'll take a look at why this is and try to fix it!

  • Thanks for sharing this David, it sounds really interesting - many of the ASSA researchers also found that WhatsApp was one of the most trusted messaging apps even among those who did not particularly do much on their smartphone outside of WhatsApp messaging. Do you think your mother might benefit from initiatives and services that are delivered on WhatsApp,...

  • Thanks for sharing this! Do you find that old people are keen on mastering the device precisely so they can access these services?