Baby Boomer Postcards: A Cultural Probe

Early in exploratory research, we sent out postcards to Boomers and toward the end of our generative phase we had enough postcards to begin to synthesize findings. These postcards asked Boomers to imagine their lives in fifteen years and also some questions on computer trust.

Some of the postcards we received

We see that Boomers view technology as a tool that provides unfiltered information and allows for communication between people. They still rely on humans for decision-making, emotional support, care, empathy, and creativity.

Sorting information based on Max Neef’s fundamental human needs

We did a deductive sort of the information about the future (what Boomers worry about and what they are looking forward to into Max Neef’s framework on fundamental human needs. Boomers were most concerned about their subsistence and protection needs and most looking forward to fulfilling their affection, participation, leisure, and creation needs. They had mixed feelings on how their identity, understanding, and freedom needs would be fulfilled in the next 15 years. They felt they had the potential to work on their identities and to have more freedom in life but also worried about changes that might impede their ability to do so.

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