Special Issue "The Role of Social Technology in the Lives of Older People"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Aging".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Janienke A. Sturm
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of HRM and Psychology, Fontys University of Applied Science, P.O. Box 347, 5600 AH Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Interests: technology and behavior; user-oriented design; playful interactions and influencing technology; older adults
Dr. Tina Ten Bruggencate
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
School of HRM and Psychology, Fontys University of Applied Science, P.O. Box 347, 5600 AH Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Interests: loneliness; social isolation; older adults

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We use social technology to interact with our network members every day. Social technology has become part of our daily lives and is an important means in communicating with our social contacts. In times of COVID-19, the role of social technology has become even more prominent. With face-to-face contact not being possible, we rely on our smartphones, tablets and computers to keep in touch with our loved ones.

Although older people do not use social technology as frequently and intensely as younger people do, research has shown that for older people social technology may strengthen and enrich their existing social relationships. Social technology fulfils older people’s need for connectedness. Remaining in contact with their relatives and caregivers also gives a sense of safety and peace of mind to the older people themselves as well as their network members.

However, older people also experience barriers in the use of social technology. They struggle with passwords, Wi-Fi and ill-designed user interfaces. In addition, some older people feel that social technology sometimes stands in the way of real human contact.

With this Special Issue, we explore how and under what circumstances social technology can help older people to fulfil their social needs. We aim to help researchers, designers of social technology and healthcare professionals by providing a better understanding of the role of social technology and the effects it has on the lives of older people.

Dr. Janienke A. Sturm
Dr. Tina Ten Bruggencate
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • social needs
  • social relationships
  • social technology
  • older people
  • COVID 19
  • design thinking
  • interventions

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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