Influence of ICTs on the Information Behavior of the Elderly in Nigeria

Influence of ICTs on the Information Behavior of the Elderly in Nigeria

Oluyinka Titilope Afolayan (University of Ilorin, Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, Ilorin, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTHD.2017070103
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The uptake of ICTs by the elderly to fulfil their diverse information needs is ridden with unavoidable challenges militating against their full exploitation of these technologies. In view of this, this paper examined the influence of ICTs on the information behaviour of the elderly in Nigeria. The methodology adopted for this research work was purely documentary and literature search in determining the extent of the influence of ICTs on the information behaviour of the elderly in Nigeria. Specifically, the research objectives for this paper addressed the Information needs of the elderly; sources of Information frequently consulted by the elderly; types of ICTs often used by the elderly; factors challenging the elderly in meeting their information needs, seeking and use using ICTs. Findings revealed that the information needs of the elderly are diverse, differ from person to person. The elderly was equally faced with personal challenges such as old age syndromes covering anxieties, disabilities, nervousness, and lack of good eyesight that affected their ICT usage.
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Review Of Literature

Relevant and appropriate theories elating to elderly people’s way of life, pattern of living, information needs, seeking behavior and use of technology were reviewed. These theories are Disengagement Theory, Need Fulfillment Theory and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) respectively.

Disengagement Theory

The Disengagement Theory was propounded by Cummings and Henry in 1961. The theory opined that withdrawing from society and social relationships is a natural part of growing old. The theory premised on the fact that because everyone expects to die one day, and because we experience physical and mental decline as we approach death, it is natural to withdraw from individuals and society. As the elderly withdraw, they receive less reinforcement to conform to social norms and societal changes (Cummings & Henry 1961). However, critics of this theory opined that the theory does not allow for a wide variation in the way people experience aging having focused on the idea that the elderly universally naturally withdraw from society as they age. (Hothschild 1975).

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