CONNECTED - Anthropology Research, Senior Citizens (70+) using WhatsApp


"All my memory is in that little device"

In the field of digital anthropology, I gathered information of conversations with senior citizens (70+) using WhatsApp. I wanted to see how they behave in our digital world. I can truely say - I was absolutely impressed what they had to share with me! Instead of believing that the older generations aren't aware of using new media, I would like to show you my live recorded experiences in a short movie with some of the participants.

A few words about my protagonists

Elfriede Grunow-Osswald (84 years old), once worked as a department head at Daimler and dealt with the internationalization of the company! After she retired in 1995, she studied history and political science. Nothing could stop her to work on a doctoral thesis. Today she connects people and is a member of district advisory.

Herbert Block (76 years old), who owned his first mobile phone for over 40 years and carried it on his shoulder, brings his surroundings into musical swing. With the musical direction and as a flugelhorn player with "D'LauterBläser" he knows how to deal with sounds. So the voice message function on WhatsApp is just as important as switching off annoying message signals.

Karin Jankowiak (78 years old), has recently acquired a smartphone and thus shows us the skill with which WhatsApp can be learned. Her dexterity is not only practiced when writing messages, she also knits socks and currently sews masks. She is very happy to keep her contacts together!

Liselotte Sobeck “Lilo” (76 years old), her family has been spread across the continent since she was a child (currently her sister lives in America). Time differences made it difficult to stay in touch, so she quickly adapted the new media to her life. In a managing position as a fashion technician she supports the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development abroad (e.g. Mongolia, Indonesia). Through WhatsApp, she can keep in touch. This is also the best way to talk about cooking.

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