Media Literacy and Senior Adults’ navigation into social media: Practices, Participation and Challenges




Media literacy, adult media literacy, digital immigrants, senior adults, digital literacy, social media


Social media is no more limited to digital natives rather than digital immigrants, the senior generation has to navigate into it as well and have a fair share. Therefore, the impact of new mediated spheres is not just limited to youngsters but to all age groups; though the user experience, contribution and struggles vary based on their digital competencies and media literacy. In a popular fashion, social media is studied and viewed as something related to youngsters who are born in the digital age. The senior generation is equally important but the practices patterns, participation aspects and their challenges in mediated platforms need to be explored as the transition from conventional to digitalized media has made them adapt to some changes and also to step forward to adopt media literacy whether self taught or being assisted as formal adult media literacy options are limited. This paper is focused on the way adults use social media, specifically senior adults, how they participate in interactive mediated spheres, their struggles and vulnerabilities having insufficient media literacy, and how they tackle it. For that in-depth interviews have been conducted with twenty-five senior adults and data has been transcribed and analyzed. The findings allow us to conclude that most senior adults are navigating into digital space and using one or more social media platforms. Their purpose, using patterns, contribution and challenges are different and insufficient media literacy options limits their choices to tackle their issues in mediated spaces. It’s an exclusive phenomenon to design, include and engage this particular age group into media literacy programs and assist them developing digital competencies. 

Author Biographies

Sana Zainab, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan

Lecturer Department of Communication & Media Studies

Maryam Mansoor

Lecturer, Department of Media and Communication Studies, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad

Maham Bukhari

Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad




How to Cite

Zainab, S., Mansoor, M., & Bukhari, M. (2022). Media Literacy and Senior Adults’ navigation into social media: Practices, Participation and Challenges. Observatorio (OBS*), 16(Special Issue). Issue20222218