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Committee asks what increasingly digital lives will mean for our wellbeing

28 October 2020

The COVID-19 Committee launches its new inquiry on the impact of digitalisation.

Background

In July-September this year, the Committee asked people for their views on what will be (or should be) different about our daily lives, and how we function as a society, in 2-5 years time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They received thousands of responses and more details about what they did and what they heard can be found by clicking the link at the top of this page.

One of the key themes that emerged was that people expect to be living more of their lives online, and so members now want to explore what that might mean for our social and economic wellbeing in the long-term.

Scope

The Committee is seeking evidence on how a rapidly increasing reliance on digital technology, accelerated by the pandemic, may have an 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.

More information about the questions that the Committee is hoping to explore is contained in the call for evidence, which can be found by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Chair's comments

Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho 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.”

Timetable

The Committee intends to hear oral evidence between November and February; the closing date for written submissions is 11 December.

Further information