Age and Gender Perspectives on Social Media and Technology Practices during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Chidiac, Mary; Ross, Christopher; Marston, Hannah and Freeman, Shannon (2022). Age and Gender Perspectives on Social Media and Technology Practices during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(21), article no. 13969.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192113969

Abstract

Few studies have examined social media and technology use during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Therefore, the main research question and objective of this study was to examine similarities and differences in the influences of mobile technology and social media use on Canadians among different age groups and across gender during the COVID-19 pandemic. From June through October 2021, 204 persons completed a 72-item online survey. Survey questions encompassed COVID-19 pandemic experiences and technology use. Standardized measures including the Psychological Wellbeing measure, eHeals, and the UCLA V3 Loneliness scale were collected to examine the psychological influences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings showed that males under 50 years were most likely to self-isolate compared to the other demographic results of the study. Males reported using technology less than females but were more likely to report using technology to share information regarding COVID-19. Respondents under 50 years were also more likely to use smartphones/mobile phones as their most used mobile technology device, whereas respondents over 50 were more split between smartphones/mobile phones and computers/tablets as their most used device. Males scored higher on the UCLA loneliness scale and lower on the Psychological Wellbeing sub-scores compared to females. Further research should explore additional demographics in relation to broader aspects of digital skills across different age groups

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