Older People’s Online Information Consumption in Light of COVID-19-related Uncertainty, 2021


The data was generated as part of a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant funded research project. The aim was to investigate how older people (65+) in the UK consume online information and what makes them vulnerable during this process. Researchers at the University of York recruited from across the UK male and female older people who are internet users in order to discuss how they use the internet to find information and how this information is used. COVID-19 online search was used to facilitate the discussion and tasks related to fake and real news were completed during the interview process. The interviews took place via zoom. The transcripts comprise in-depth interviews with older people (n=28) while they were searching for COVID-19-related information online.Amid COVID-19, as people spend more time online, their health-related information consumption practices are tested by threats such as fake news, scams and clickbait. Older people can be particularly vulnerable to these threats as they may not always have the IT skills to process information confidently. Hence, using information foraging as the theoretical lens, we investigate how older people consume online information in light of COVID-19-related uncertainty. This includes how they seek, use, share, dismiss and decide to follow online information and what makes them vulnerable during their online navigation. Screencast videography, an innovative approach to capture the lived experiences of internet users in real time, along with in-depth interviews, were employed. Twenty-eight internet users aged 65+ were recruited. Theoretical, practical and policy implications will be drawn from the findings.

Participants were recruited via adverts through AgeUK, University's channels and through the researchers' professional networks. The participants were from across the UK, 65+ and internet users. In-depth interviews were conducted via zoom. During the interviews, participants were asked to share their screen and search for COVID-19-related information. Tasks about fake and real news were also shared with the participants in order to investigate how they deal with fake news online. All interviews were audio recorded, screens were captured during the online search activity and the audio recordings were professionally transcribed. Only the anonymised transcripts are included in this data collection along with the interview guide, the template for informed consent and the participant information sheet.

DOI https://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-856132
Metadata Access https://datacatalogue.cessda.eu/oai-pmh/v0/oai?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=oai_ddi25&identifier=49c680fb488df583b1dc26a2c16ea144041b5f42b4a9a4d41e168525ace7509e
Creator Banerjee, S, University of York; Kapetanaki, A, University of York; Dempsey, L, University of York
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2023
Funding Reference BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants
Rights Snehasish Banerjee, University of York. Ariadne Kapetanaki, University of York; The Data Collection is available for download to users registered with the UK Data Service.
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Text
Discipline Social Sciences
Spatial Coverage UK; United Kingdom