Instant messaging and social relationships: effects of using WhatsApp on the subjective quality and formation of social relationships of people aged 65+

Research objectives: In light of the significant increase in the use of the internet and mobile devices by elderly people (65+), the project asks what effects the use of WhatsApp has on the quality and the formation of social relationships of users aged 65+. Of particular interest are the effects on the emotional connections with people from the user's social network as well as the formation of the relationships and contacts with these people. Data is acquired by means of a qualitative survey of 30 WhatsApp users aged 65+, comprising the creation of self-centred network maps and a structured interview.


Project team

Sabina Misoch, Rhea Braunwalder, Veronika Hämmerle, Cora Pauli, Julia Reiner


Swiss National Science Foundation, "Digital Lives" call for proposals


11/2018 – 05/2020