Mitigating loneliness, social isolation and enhancing wellbeing in older people through photo-sharing on social media platforms

In this Sir Halley Stewart Trust-funded project and a collaboration between The Open University and Oxford Brookes University, we aim to investigate the value of photograph sharing through social media websites as a mitigator of loneliness and enabler of wellbeing of older people, aged 60 years and over living in the UK.

The project will address the interlinked issues of ageing, loneliness, social isolation and wellbeing with participating in the creative activity of taking photographs and sharing them online via email, photo-sharing applications (e.g. Google Photos, iCloud) and social media websites (e.g. Flickr, Instagram, blipfoto.com). In this project, we will focus on websites such as on Flickr, Instagram and blipfoto.com that are specifically designed to facilitate interactions with others, beyond the circle of family and friends, through shared pictures and words.

Project team

Professor Shailey Minocha, The Open University 

Dr Sarah Quinton, Oxford Brookes University

Dr Caroline Holland, The Open University

Project collaborators

Age UK Milton Keynes

Silver Robin