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Is life online damaging our wellbeing?

House of Lords COVID-19 Committee explore impact of our increasingly digital lifestyle

The House of Lords COVID-19 Committee has launched a new inquiry into the impact of the increased digitisation of our work and personal lives caused by the current pandemic on our social and economic wellbeing.

The general increased reliance on digital technology over recent years has been accelerated significantly by the COVID Pandemic - a recent survey of businesses suggests that companies’ digital transformation has progressed by an average of five years in the UK since the outbreak began.

While some aspects of life are likely to return to offline, in-person interactions again once social distancing is no longer required, in other areas the rapidly increasing reliance on digital technology is likely to be a long-term trend.

The Committee are inviting interested parties to get in touch with them and share their views on how a rapidly increasing reliance on digital technology, may impact on our wellbeing. They are particularly interested in hearing about the impact of digitalisation on four key drivers of wellbeing: physical health, mental health, social interaction and quality of working life.

The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 11 December 2020.

Commenting at the launch of the inquiry Baroness Lane-Fox, Chair of the Committee said:

“I want to thank everyone who contributed to the Committee’s first piece of work. The scale of the responses, and the honesty with which people shared both the hardships they’d experienced and their hopes for the future, was incredible. It has given the Committee a huge amount to think about in terms of the complex different ways that this pandemic is likely to affect us in the long-term.

“We will now be moving on to explore the key themes that emerged from this work in more depth, beginning with the inquiry we are launching today. The last six months have accelerated the digitalisation of our lives dramatically. This is affecting everything from the sustainability of high-street retailers to our opportunities for social connection, and so we want to explore the long-term impact of this on our economic and social wellbeing.

“We will then turn our attention to some of the other themes that emerged from our first piece of work, as topics for our future inquiries.”


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