One Massey PhD student has been inspired by the saying ‘experience is the mother of wisdom’ to create a new social media platform for people over 50.
School of Management doctoral student Ji Yu (Maggie) created Wisenet to help utilise the powers of traditional social media for research purposes.
She wanted to leverage social media to better understand the impact of Covid-19 and other issues that concern senior citizens, as she says this is an area which has not been broadly studied.
“We know from studies that social media can have benefits for older individuals, from sharing information to retaining social connections,” she says.
However, Ms Yu found mainstream social media channels provided challenges when being used for senior citizen research, as not only were they not designed for this purpose, but also the existing platforms have various issues such as; misinformation, privacy, ethical concerns, and lack of access to data.
“Creating a new platform designed for senior citizens and with researchers in mind can help bridge the gap between the two, so opinions and information from this generation can be better shared.”
Wisenet focuses on discussions of current significant social issues which affect and are of interest to senior citizens.
Ms Yu says the objective of her research was to gain insights from the discussions and generate ‘wisdom of the crowds’ type information to help address current social problems.
These research findings could be hugely beneficial to society; for example, they may be referred to the government for policy initiatives related to this age group, Ms Yu says.
“Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to the virus and its secondary effects; we’re hoping by using this targeted social media, we can better understand the impact of Covid-19 and preventative measures on their lives.”
Currently Ms Yu is asking for participants to take part in the current discussion on how senior citizens can manage Covid-19 and suggestions for government policies to assist senior citizens to deal with the pandemic.
If you are aged 50 years or above and interested in this topic, you can sign up to the platform to participate in the discussion, with more potential topics to be added later.
Participation is completely voluntary and anonymous.
To sign up, please click here.
For more information, please read the Information Sheet
If you have any questions about the project, feel free to contact:
PhD student Maggie Yu, email@example.com, +64 (09) 414 0800 ext. 43180
Professor David Pauleen, D.Pauleen@massey.ac.nz, +64 (09) 414 0800 ext. 43385