Gaslamps lighting the way through a dark forest

What to expect next week

This week we have focused on issues around personal digital wellbeing. We’ve looked at our digital identities and thought about our online and offline selves, including when to switch off. We’ve also looked at engaging with other people online and how this can affect our personal wellbeing, whether through tweets getting out of hand or sharing more data than you intend.

How did you find this week? Are there areas of your own digital self that you now want to explore further? Was there any course content that opened your eyes to new areas of debate? Let us know in the comments below.

At the end of the second Star Wars film, “The Empire Strikes Back”, the Rebellion is on the run, Han Solo is encased in carbonite, and Luke Skywalker is faced with the realisation that he is his father’s son… Things seem pretty glum.

We’re on a similar trajectory here… by brooding so long on the Dark Side of social media and digital technology more generally, our digital wellbeing may not be feeling so well.

Next week we’ll try to redress that balance. We’ll be looking at online communities, digital inclusion, and the improving power of technology. We’ll aim to consolidate what we’ve covered in weeks one and two, while also focusing on the wellbeing of others. We will look in more depth at strategies for balancing our online and offline lives and dealing with negative attention. We’ll engage with research on inclusive user design and health technologies and explore the myriad of positive ways in which technologies can be used. And to bring it all together, we’ll round up the themes we’ve looked at over all three weeks and share our reflections on digital wellbeing.

By understanding the problems and risks of the online world, we can engage all the better, just as we do in the offline world we’re perhaps a little more used to. We learn that the road can be dangerous, we learn how to cross it, and we enjoy the benefit of the park on the other side. It’s a bit like Yoda making Luke confront his fears in the cave under that tree on Dagobah…

So join us next week when we’ll attempt to destroy the [Second] Death Star of digital fears!

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This article is from the free online course:

Digital Wellbeing

University of York