Title (eng)

Aging in Digital Culture: How Older Smartphone Users Experience Aging


Alexander Seifert   University of Zurich

Rebekka Rohner   University of Vienna

Vera Gallistl   University of Vienna

Anna Wanka   Goethe University Frankfurt/Main


Benjamin Herr   University of Vienna

Hannah Quinz   University of Vienna


Institut für Soziologie


With the spread of mobile devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness trackers,
technology is increasingly permeating our daily lives. They have also become “affective
technologies” that influence our everyday emotions and perceptions and our experiences
of aging. This paper investigates the association between mobile device use and the
subjective experience of aging (SEA), with the hypothesis that the more frequently older
adults use smartphones, the more positively they experience aging. A multiple hierarchical
linear regression model was calculated based on a secondary analysis of Swiss survey
data for older (≥ 65 years, N = 1037) adults. According to the survey data, 32.1% of
participants used a smartphone. Univariate and multivariate analyses, controlled for a
number of relevant confounders and the use of different devices, confirmed the positive
relationship between frequency of smartphone use and SEA. The results suggest that mobile
devices should be included as an independent variable when investigating subjective
experiences of aging.

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