New Media for Active Aging Society?
E-Learning and Developmental Aspects of Mobile Communication in Japan
Shizuka Abe (Kyoto, Japan) [BIO]
Proponents of mobile communication technology promise borderless, flexible and ubiquitous contacts: real time, round-the-clock, anytime and anywhere, making the geo-spatial conditions irrelevant, and for all age groups, but are these offerings for the beneficiaries of an aging society?
Focusing on the e-learning aspects of mobile communication, this paper attempts to provide a contemporary examination on the use of mobile phones by aging population.
Given Japanese demographic transitions towards a matured aging one, that it has become a low birth-rate, rapidly aging society (in early 2006, its total fertility rate was 1.25; more than 22% of the population was 65 or older), we examine the idiosyncrasies of mobile phone use (mobile communication) for social learning. For Japan, mobile phone is part of social necessity for most people and it is used for intensive territorial-bound social networking: the mobile phone's role in friendship-building among younger generations – but what about the senior adults and the aged? One of our important findings highlight that, to foster an active, healthy approach to aging, more initiatives from government and business are needed, as programs launched by business and government to bring senior adults together with mobile communication access appear to be successful. Overall, mobile communication technologies have been beneficial to Japan’s elderly population, and show even greater promise for the future.
Patron: President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer
KCTOS: Knowledge, Creativity and