This article brings forth the experiential knowledge and views of sixteen Finnish older adults, (mean of age 84,9), who tried out home technology in their daily life, with the objective of discussing media literacy education in relation to this specific age group and context. The data were analyzed from the perspective of sensemaking as theorized by Karl Weick, which works as a heuristic enabling investigation of older adults’ experiences in relation to home technology. The results show that the sensemaking of the participants is based on the identity of the non-user, retrospective reasoning and social context. For many, the technological solutions examined in this study did not seem to constitute a plausible answer to the perceived needs or realities of life. This study thus raises an important question: in the context of home technology implementation or media literacy, whose voice or sensemaking is heard? This general question comes with a set of related concerns and prompts further questions such as: Do older adults perceive a need for media literacy and how do they make sense of various media and the rapidly digitalizing culture? In media literacy education, older adults should be recognized within their unique life contexts.
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Lantela, P. (2019). “So, Tell Me What Kind of a Thing It Really Is”—Finnish Older Adults Making Sense of Home Technology. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(2), 122-145. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2019-11-2-8