Amidst Ageing Challenges, We Can't Be Left out in the Smartphones-Selfie Bug: Narratives of the Elderly in Edo State, Nigeria

By Ikuomola, Adediran Daniel | Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology, Winter 2017 | Go to article overview

Amidst Ageing Challenges, We Can't Be Left out in the Smartphones-Selfie Bug: Narratives of the Elderly in Edo State, Nigeria


Ikuomola, Adediran Daniel, Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology


Introduction

Certainly, there is excellent work to be found on the social aspects of mobile photography (Albury, 2015; Gye, 2007; Steenson, 2006), documentation of the self through digital photography (Ardévol & Gómez-Cruz, 2012; Rettberg, 2014), and the history of artistic and vernacular self-portraiture leading up to the advent of selfies (Roberts, 2011; Hall, 2014). Academics in the fields of media and cultural studies have been slower to weigh in the agency of the elderly in the selfie bug and smartphones usage especially in Africa. This article examines the agencies and ingenuities of the elderly in the use of smartphones applications as a process of self exploration, and a course of action in constructing their online and offline identities, specifically in the use of selfies as a medium of communicating personal and social existences in Nigeria. Selfie has been described by several scholars as a practice (a gesture), which involves sending (and is often intended to send) different messages (through photographic images) to different individuals, communities, and audiences, which also provokes reactions such as likes, comments, and remixes (Senft and Baym, (2015). Common features of the discourses about selfies have tended to be diverse and extreme both in definition and agency, oftentimes within the socio-political space of the youth, undermining the space and agency of the aged (Marwick, 2015; Posner, 2015; Turkle, 2013; Senft and Baym 2015; Fox, & Rooney 2015; Senft, 2008; 2013; Schwarz, 2010). Senft and Baym (2015) emphasized categorically that the deployment of selfie is an indicator that one is young, fun, and connected. For Posner 2015, selfie pedagogies are best situated in a critical interrogation of contemporary discourses of adolescence and young adulthood as they intersect with digital cultures.

Youth dominance of the social media space and the selfie bug has also been connected with discourses of pathology (Fox, & Rooney 2015; Senft, 2008; Schwarz, 2010). However as a form of human agency, selfie functions both as a practice of everyday life and as the object of socializing and politicizing discourses, using the internet and the social meida, the aged are neglected in the study of selfies despite the various dimensions of selfies such as political selfies, joke selfies, sports-related selfies, fan-related selfies, illness-related selfies, household selfies, selfies at funerals, or selfies at places like museums among others are spaces not totally occupied by the youth. In the same vein, the aged are often termed as resistant to change and portrayed as having anxiety feelings towards unfamiliar space and technology (United Nations Populations Division, 2009; Ehmen et. al., 2012; Ejechi, 2013; Egwu, 2013; UNFPA & Help Age International (2012). This has been linked with mobile phone industries targeting younger age groups who switch phones relatively frequently and admire smaller devices with multifunctions (Fitzpatrick, & Roberts, 2004; Marwick 2015; Senft and Baym, 2015), unlike the aged who have been tagged as users who do not have the same visual and hearing sensitivity, finger dexterity, and working memory as the younger age groups; and that they may have problems using smartphones and mobile phones with smaller buttons, screen and text; and complex functions (Akeredolu-Ale & Aribiah, 2001; Chen, et al., 2013; Mallenius, Rossi, and Tuunainen, 2007; Kurniawan, 2008). It is generally overemphasized that older adults' physiological and psychosocial characteristics are different from the younger age groups regarding the requirements and needs of mobile and smartphone usage. And as such mobile phones with fewer functions have been stated as satisfying to older users demand; and that phones with too many functions will make the devices more complex and result in redundant learning (Chen et al., 2013).

Literature review

Pervasiveness of smartphones in Nigeria: The demographics

Globally mobile and smartphones have become topical in recent decade, irrespective of the socioeconomic, cultural, educational and literacy barriers in Africa and other developing world. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Amidst Ageing Challenges, We Can't Be Left out in the Smartphones-Selfie Bug: Narratives of the Elderly in Edo State, Nigeria
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.