Article Critique

Article Critique






The Title of the Paper and the Authors

Lindley, Sian E., Harper, R. & Sellen, A. (2009). Desiring to be in Touch in a Changing Communications Landscape: Attitudes of Older Adults. Designing for Senior Citizens


The article is surely one of the best written and well ‘choreographed’ articles and so the reason of it becoming my article of choice. The paper seeks to explore and establish the attitudes inhibited by older people towards keeping and maintaining good communication with those persons that are vital or important persons, family and friends, in their old age lives. The article in its findings targets people within the age bracket fifty five to eighty one years. The paper defines communication as a way to demonstrate skill and express personality showing how its understanding is very different from the context of lightweight technological interaction. Importantly, the paper suggestively finds that older adults take communication as an act worth every bit of dedication and time investment and also as an important act that calls for very careful management with daily life context.


 Keeping in touch for the people with the target population is quite important for them though they much intend to stay within their already established circle and are less concerned with making new social connections. They only tend to ‘warm’ more their social circle. This owes to the fact that they find their time limited and thus draw more motivation in spending much of their limited time on relationships that significantly reward them emotionally. Older adults are therefore dismally attentive to making new social connections through making new friends as opposed to the younger generation who actively use the latest technology to explore and make new friends. The older adults strongly believe that technology was much more important to them in their younger times to establish relationships that will bring them emotional value and care at their later age. 

Practically, older adults need more intimate relationship that harbors physical intimate contact other than the lightweight communications through technology. For this reason, it is true to deduce that technology is much more actively concerned with fostering and establishing meaningful social connections which are very vital for older adult life. The paper therefore answers the reason for asymmetrical relationships in the family and why the older persons are much into intimate relationships that lightweight technological new relationships. The older adults like to give more than they receive knowing that they are much time limited with a huge self-actualization sense and higher reciprocating capacity.

 Consequently, it is very important that designs of communication and socialization for the older adults should be set in a way so as to allow responses that are meaningful. As much as they much hold high the ability to gain informational insights to their close friends and family, they are more into reciprocating and giving back. It is evident from the paper that older adults are not favorites of intrusion be it intrinsic or extrinsic. They are much peaceful with the much they have and only think of their own circle, unlike young adults who are adventurous and seek to widen their circles with immediacy more disputed but a watchful eye worth giving. Self-search and rumination before making any reaction or reciprocating effort is the way to go for the older adults, not like the way for teenagers and younger adults who take matters with much haste and quickly react without a self-search meeting to ruminate on the action.

My perspective about the methodological tradeoffs that were made when the study was designed

The methodological trade-offs as used in the design of the study are quite appealing. For instance, the time trade off methodology which much evaluates the kind of life and living worth that an individual or a group of person experiences is well articulated. The much pronounced and stressed on old adult life for persons aged between 55-81 years, which is studied against the life of teens and younger adults much proves what I see a very successful and near factual study. However, I still find this methodology not exhaustive in that the sample bracket is quite huge thus sparingly giving exhaustive and comprehensive results. Though the time trade off methodology has seen different scrutinization methods into the target population, I still feel that there is much to be dug out in that there are other different characteristics inhibited by the old adults that compel them even to look for new circles at their old age.

The study is quite general and assumptive of the different old age parameters that vary from individual to another. Yes, the methodological tradeoffs are strategically designed, but the scope of their coverage, according to me is a bit shallow thus drawing to conclusive generalizations which are a bit deficient of holding much ‘water’. I strongly feel that at the time of design, the authors would have achieved more insight if they considered a narrower target population bracket and took much care of the different parameters that may otherwise compel old adults to more socialization and communication. The deliberate questioning and interviews could have served better if they were conducted without the old adults conscience for this will promote the dissemination and harvest of more information about them.

Opinion as whether the chosen methodology was appropriate given their research questions (and why)

 The chosen methodology for me is not appropriately convincing. For instance, group C consisted of a small sample size, which I see not able to body the findings arrived at thereafter. I strongly feel that the research questions are well structured and articulated. However, I doubt that the best answers were obtained considering what I see a semi-exhaustive study and research more so with a less convincing sample size that did not get the deserved scrutiny. I still believe that there is more stake to bite in this study if given a better exhaustive and all-parameters extensive and inclusive approach. This is because the research questions are not extensively tackled.

A discussion of what I think would be the most interesting next step to research and the methodology you would use to do so

The most interesting next step according to me would be looking the other side of the ‘coin’. This includes looking in depth the important feature of young adults as opposed to the old adults for the old where once young. This will open up more insight and understanding taking in the background dynamics that may challenge the bony generalization that the old adults are not much into networking yet some can be seen to be even more conservative and not as reciprocating as the young adults. I will still employ the same time trade-off methodology. However, I will insist a larger sample size for convincing findings with more inquisitive and content-availing research questions. Such a step will give a more comprehensive comparison, hence much factual-like and convincing study findings.


Lindley, Sian E., Harper, R. & Sellen, A. (2009). Desiring to be in Touch in a Changing Communications Landscape: Attitudes of Older Adults. Designing for Senior Citizens