Barriers of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Narratives of Older Users and Their Facilitators


  • Grazina Rapoliene Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences
  • Margarita Gedvilaite-Kordusiene Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences
  • Vaida Tretjakova Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences



older people, information and communication technologies (ICT), Internet, barriers


As world populations are ageing, more attention is given to the social and digital inclusion of older people. The level of ICT non-use among older adults in Lithuania is significantly higher than in Western European countries. In 2023, 29% of the Lithuanian population aged 65–74 had never used the Internet, while in most Western countries, this share varied between 2 and 8%. Insufficient research efforts in Eastern and Central Europe prompted this study to explore the barriers to ICT use in Lithuania based on qualitative semi-structured interviews with older users (N=36) and their facilitators (N=9). The difficulties revealed by the study are divided into three groups. First, the participants found it difficult to adjust to the technologies as a unique system (to understand its specific principles of functioning, to deal with information on English and technical language). Second, their psychological relationship with the unknown and complex subject have caused some problems, as they faced a spectrum of fears, insecurity, the shame of not knowing, the experience of one’s limitations, lack of patience. Third, changes that informants relate to old age like diminishing motivation to engage with innovations, learning difficulties, and bodily changes (sensitivity of fingers, weakening sight and memory) constituted additional barriers for older ICT users. To overcome the barriers, access to mentoring and consulting would be beneficial.




How to Cite

Rapoliene, G., Gedvilaite-Kordusiene, M., & Tretjakova, V. (2024). Barriers of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Narratives of Older Users and Their Facilitators. Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations, 25(3), 7–23.