With the advent of social media, the media environment has become more participatory for its users, making it possible for older adults to produce content for social media and be agential in online spaces. This article observes a group of older women known as Activist Grannies (Aktivistimummot in Finnish) and 60+ Finnish women bloggers who identify as “grannies” to discover what kind of agency social media potentially enables for older women. In addition, this article explores the cultural knowledge produced by older women’s self-representations as activist grannies and “granny bloggers.” I demonstrate that social media offers a space to make visible older women’s lives and societal contributions. This visibility challenges ageist conceptions and conveys affirmative understandings of aging, such as viewing higher age as a source of strength. Social media also makes it more achievable for older adults to participate in current societal debates and to exercise political agency. This study expands the existing research on older adults and social media by adding to the scant knowledge about older women as content-creators and identifies the ways older femininities are constructed and negotiated online.

Author Biography

Hanna Varjakoski is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Turku, Faculty of Humanities, Finland and is a project researcher at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Eastern Finland. Her doctoral thesis investigates media portrayals of aging, older people, and later life and is situated at the intersection of cultural gerontology, humanistic media studies, and gender studies. Her other research interests focus on older people’s relationships with neighbors and questions related to aging, health inequalities, and digitalization.