Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Reyman, Jessica, 1977-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Facebook (Electronic resource); Technical communication; Rhetoric; Multimedia communications; Web studies; Middle-aged persons--Social networks; Communication--Social aspects; Information technology--Social aspects


This study looked at Facebook use by older adults to determine why and how they use the website and what characteristics of network literacy they exhibit in doing so. To conduct my research I interviewed eight older adults in a sample of convenience drawn from my own social network and transcribed the interviews. I performed open coding of the data, in an iterative process, allowing patterns, codes, and themes to emerge from the data. Based on the results of my study, I argue that older adults are motivated to use Facebook by the social connections it affords them and the way it enhances and improves communication with friends and family members. I also argue that they are successful at adapting the tool to meet most of their needs, and their use of Facebook demonstrates many, although not all, of the characteristics of network literacy.


Advisors: Jessica Reyman.||Committee members: Philip Eubanks; Bradley Peters.


62 pages




Northern Illinois University

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Media Type