Baby boomers are now the fastest growing group of adopters of social media. This research uses qualitative research methodologies to understand the factors influencing adoption and use of social media and other emergent technologies by baby boomer and silent generation women. Life Course Perspectives (especially as combined with either Role Theory and/or Social Exchange Theory), and Family Systems Theory provide a strong basis for considering reciprocal socialization as an important dynamic in relationships between different generations, specifically within families. This research reveals and examines a particular form of reciprocal socialization between family members, the process of social media adoption. Using a convenience sample of 28 women born before 1963, we examine the characteristics of women who use computers, and more specifically who use social networking sites and other forms of emergent technology such as Skype. We also investigate the familial and social factors that women report as contributing to their adoption of social media. Women report that children, specifically daughters, strongly influence their decision to use social media such as Facebook. Women who do not use social media are found to either report lack of interest or perceived lack of ability to negotiate new technology, or to indicate that use of social media is unnecessary to them due to the spatial proximity of their families.
Randall, N.H., Pauley, S.C. and Culley, A.B. (2015), "Family Social Networks, Reciprocal Socialization and the Adoption of Social Media by Baby Boomer and Silent Generation Women", Communication and Information Technologies Annual (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 135-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2050-206020150000009006
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