Bridging the gap between grandparents and teenagers: Lightweight vs. heavyweight contact

Presented at the CHI 2009 workshop on Age Matters: Bridging the generation gap through technology mediated interaction |

Older adults view contact with family as being worthy of time and dedication, and show a preference for ‘heavyweight’ forms of contact. In contrast, younger generations are increasingly adopting lightweight communication technologies. Preliminary findings from the deployment of a lightweight messaging device show that while the flexibility that it afforded facilitated direct contact between grandparents and teenage grandchildren, this was not valued by the grandparents as much as simple, but richer, interactions would be.