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How does spending more time online affect our relationships? Lords Committee to explore issue in upcoming evidence session

The House of Lords COVID-19 Committee will take evidence from witnesses including academics from UCL and University of Oxford and the British Red Cross exploring how an increasingly digitalised world, post-pandemic, might help or hinder social connection.

The sessions will take place virtually from 10am on Tuesday 12 January and will be streamed live on Parliament TV.

Giving evidence will be:

10am

  • Professor Robin Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, University of Oxford;
  • Jane East, Managing Director of the Cares Family;
  • Olivia Field, Head of Health and Resilience Policy at the British Red Cross; and
  • Professor Daniel Miller, Professor of Anthropology, UCL.

Themes for discussion include;

  • What has been learned during the pandemic about how technology can be used to build and strengthen social connections?
  • What have social distancing requirements and the temporary closure of physical meeting spaces taught us about the importance of maintaining opportunities to meet in person?
  • If increased home working and digital service delivery results in fewer face-to-face interactions in daily life, what impact might that have on our wellbeing, and is any action needed as a result?
  • If increasing digitalisation results in the closure of some shops and other public spaces, how might that space be utilised to help people form more social connections?

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