Giving Compass’ Take:
• Beth Kanter discusses a report from Pew Research that shows how our lives will be impacted by the internet over the next decade, for better and worse.
• Positives include increased connectedness; the negatives include erosion of trust. What can philanthropists do to strengthen civil society in the digital age and mitigate some of the downsides?
The Pew Research Center has released a research report called “The Future of Digital Life and Well-Being.” Pew interviewed technology experts and scholars (including me) about the benefits and drawbacks of our digital lives. The expert predictions about the impact of the internet over the next 10 years came in response to questions asked by Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center in an online canvassing conducted between Dec. 11, 2017, and Jan. 15, 2018. This is the ninth Future of the Internet study the two organizations have conducted together.
The report, The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World, was designed to answer the question: Over the next decade, how will changes in digital life impact people’s overall well-being physically and mentally? Pew surveyed 1,150 experts in a non-scientific canvassing. About 47% of these respondents predict that individuals’ well-being will be more helped than harmed by digital life in the next decade, while 32% say people’s well-being will be more harmed than helped. The remaining 21% predict there will not be much change in people’s well-being compared to now.
Pew Research Center recently released the full collection of anecdotes and stories shared by experts about their personal experiences with digital life. The following positive and negative themes about the impact of digital life surfaced:
- Glorious connectedness
- Invent, reinvent, innovate
- Life-saving advice and assistance
- Efficient transactions
- Connectedness overload
- Trust tensions
- Personal identity issues
- Focus failures
Read the full article about Pew Research’s report on the future of digital life at Beth Kanter’s Blog.
Tech for Good is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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