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Social networking for well-being

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Author: Steen, M.G.D. · Aarts, O.A.J. · Broekman, C.C.M.T. · Prins, S.C.L.
Source:Fostering Social Interactions in the Ageing Society - European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work ECSCW 2011, Aarhus, 24-28 September 2011 , 1-12
Identifier: 445512
Keywords: Sociology · Information Society · Human · HOI - Human Behaviour & Organisational Innovations · BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences


In this paper, we present some of the work that is being done in the WeCare project (in the AAL programme). The project’s goal is to introduce social networking services in the lives of older people, in order to improve their well-being. Participation in social networks, both online and ‘in real life’ will help them to stay in touch with family and friends and to meet new people. The project follows a human-centred design approach and is organized in close cooperation with older people and organizations that represent older people. A social networking services is developed—or, actually, four versions of this service, for four countries: Finland, Spain, Ireland and The Netherlands. Furthermore, pilots are organized to evaluate the added value of these services [i]n people’s daily lives. Before and after the pilots, participants’ experiences of well-being are surveyed to study the effects of using the social networking services. Moreover, based on Social Capital Theory, seven positive habits are articulated that will help people to participate effectively in social networking, thereby empowering them to improve their social well-being. These habits will be evaluated during the pilots and, later on, will be translated into practical recommendations for policy makers and for service developers.