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Unpacking ICT-supported Social Connections and Support of Late-life Migration: Insights from Social Convoys


Core Concepts
Understanding the role of ICT in supporting late-life migrants through social convoys.
Abstract
The study explores the challenges faced by late-life migrants in rebuilding social connections and accessing support. It focuses on the dynamic changes in social convoys, the roles of ICT, encountered challenges, and expectations. Older drifters face isolation, poor mental health, and difficulties in maintaining old relationships. ICT plays a crucial role in restructuring social connections, providing tangible, informational, emotional, network, and esteem support. Participants use tools like WeChat for communication and organization of activities. Challenges include trust-building in new environments and authenticity of online interactions. Expectations include trustworthy relationships, stress-free interactions, and harmonious family dynamics.
Stats
Migration has increased from 5 million to 18 million in China over two decades. Late-life migrants often suffer from challenges like social isolation and poor mental health. ICT plays a significant role in restructuring migrants' social connections. Participants use tools like WeChat for communication and organization of activities. Challenges include language barriers and discrimination faced by older drifters. Expectations include building trustworthy relationships and authentic interactions through ICT.
Quotes
"I worry about the stress young people face and don’t want to burden them." - Participant 6 "Face-to-face communication is the best way to express one’s thoughts authentically." - Participant 6 "I prefer genuine and authentic communication." - Participant 6 "I have mental pressure. I don’t know if they are real or scammers." - Participant 1 "Online interactions couldn't replace real-life interactions with friends." - Participant 9

Deeper Inquiries

How can technology help bridge generational gaps within families?

Technology can play a crucial role in bridging generational gaps within families by facilitating communication, sharing experiences, and fostering connections. Here are some ways technology can help: Video Calls and Messaging: Platforms like Zoom, Skype, or WhatsApp allow family members of different generations to have face-to-face conversations regardless of physical distance. Social Media: Platforms like Facebook or Instagram provide a space for sharing updates, photos, and videos with family members across generations. Digital Storytelling: Apps or websites that enable the creation of digital stories or family histories can help older adults share their experiences with younger generations. Online Games and Activities: Playing online games together or engaging in virtual activities can create bonding opportunities between different age groups.

How can online platforms promote authentic interactions while reducing stress for older adults?

To promote authentic interactions on online platforms while reducing stress for older adults, several strategies can be implemented: User-Friendly Interfaces: Ensure that the platform is easy to navigate and use so that older adults feel comfortable interacting without added stress from technical difficulties. Private Communication Channels: Provide private messaging options to facilitate more personal and intimate conversations among users. Moderation and Support: Offer moderation services to maintain a positive environment free from harassment or negativity that could cause stress. Encouraging Positive Sharing: Create prompts or features that encourage users to share positive experiences rather than focusing on negative aspects.

What strategies can be implemented to build trust among older drifters in new environments?

Building trust among older drifters in new environments is essential for their well-being and social integration. Some strategies to implement include: Community Engagement Programs: Organize community events where older drifters can meet locals and build relationships based on shared interests. Mentorship Programs: Pairing older drifters with local mentors who guide them through cultural norms, language barriers, and daily life challenges fosters trust-building. Cultural Exchange Workshops: Conduct workshops where both locals and older drifters share their cultures, traditions, food recipes, etc., promoting mutual understanding. 4Support Groups: Establish support groups specifically tailored for older drifters where they can connect with others facing similar challenges in the new environment.
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