Ever feel helpless and anxious without your mobile? You're in good company: millions of consumers of digital media, entertainment and information have found their lives revolutionized by the power at their fingertips.
Half of us believe that increased use of digital media has improved our lives, according to recent World Economic Forum research. From social networking to how we work, digital media is now integrated in much of what we do, improving our productivity and facilitating how we interact and communicate.
But at what cost? "The age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention spans, even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer,” writes Leon Watson of The Telegraph. In 2010, another research team at the University of Michigan found a 40% decline among students in every definition of empathy among college students, as compared to their counterparts 20 years previous, with most of this decline coming after the year 2000.
The list of positive and negative repercussions of increased digital media use is long. Are we doing enough, and more importantly, can we do more to foster the great things that come from digital media use while addressing the potential risks?
You can view seven short videos about the societal implications of digital media and the impacts on various aspects of our lives:
How we consume and share
How our decisions are influenced
Our digital presence and privacy
Our personal development, learning, and health
How we interact with one another
Our professional lives
How we engage civically
Find out more in the Forum's report, Digital Media & Society: Implications in a Hyperconnected Era.
Author: Claudio Cocorocchia, Content Lead, Media, Entertainment and Information Industries, and a Global Leadership Fellow