For the Aging, Mobile Technology is the Most Freeing

Older people, 65 and older, are the most likely to reap the benefits of smartphone technology. 

File this one under The Fruits of Technology, especially for the aging. 

Older people, 65 and older, are the most likely to reap the emotional benefits of smartphone technology. More than any other age bracket, they consider a smartphone to be "freeing," rather than "a leash," according to the Pew Research Center. On the other hand, 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to consider smartphones a leash.

The elderly also felt more strongly than any other age group that smartphones are "connecting" devices, as opposed to "distracting." Again, 18- to 20-year-olds were the most pessimistic: 37 percent considered their phones to be more of a distraction than a device that served to connect them to friends and family.

"For young adults, smartphones are often the device through which they filter both the successes and annoyances of daily life — which could help explain why these users are more likely to report feeling emotions about their phone ranging from happy and grateful to frustrated or angry during a weeklong survey."

Researchers suggest this is a result of how different ages use their phones differently. Younger generations are more likely to rely on their devices for social networking and viewing media content. Older generations use more basic functions like telephone calling, texting, and email. One reason younger generations may find their phones less satisfying is they serve as a way to actually avoid the people around them, rather than be open to naturally occurring conversation.

The takeaway here is to not presume seniors are "too old" or automatically "uninterested" in emerging technology just because there is a learning curve. As Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) explains, different generations share the same needs and values, meaning that everyone stands to benefit from technologies that brighten our lives. 

Read more at the Pew Research Center.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Wealth inequality is literally killing us. The economy should work for everyone.

This economy has us in survival mode, stressing out our bodies and minds.

  • Economic hardship is linked to physical and psychological illness, resulting in added healthcare expenses people can't afford.
  • The gig economy – think Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Handy – is marketed as a 'be your own boss' revolution, but it can be dehumanizing and dangerous; every worker is disposable.
  • The cooperative business model can help reverse wealth inequality.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less