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Content Creation in Later Life: Reconsidering older adults' digital participation and inclusion

Lookup NU author(s): Arlind Reuter, Professor Thomas Scharf, Dr Jan SmeddinckORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by ACM , 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


In increasingly digitalised societies, government initiatives to ensure that public services remain accessible for everyone typically focus on the digital inclusion of older adults. However, by solely viewing older adults as passive recipients or consumers of services, digital inclusion strategies under-emphasise the concept of digital participation. Highlighting the importance of older adults as active contributors in a digital society, we investigated the potential of content creation to increase older adults’ digital skills whilst also strengthening their digital participation. Through a workshop and interviews involving three different groups of older content producers, we show that content creation can stimulate older adults’ digital participation. We report on challenges faced by the content creators, including time constraints, lack of professional support and the preference to create content collaboratively. We propose that by facilitating collaborative content creation activities, local communities can better support older adults’ digital participation and facilitate inclusion across different life domains.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reuter A, Scharf T, Smeddinck J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction

Year: 2021

Volume: CSCW 3

Print publication date: 01/01/2021

Acceptance date: 01/06/2020

Date deposited: 12/11/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2573-0142

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/3434166


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