• University of York

Digital Wellbeing

Do digital technologies affect our wellbeing? Explore the concepts of health, relationships and society in the digital age.

16,476 enrolled on this course

Light weaving between trees.

Digital Wellbeing

16,476 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Discover how digital technology affects our wellbeing

What is the impact of digital technology on our health, relationships and society? How do we ensure our own digital wellbeing? Explore the answers to these questions and more with this course.

You will investigate new and established technologies and their impact on society, looking at the positives and negatives of engaging with technology.

You will also learn how to ensure your own digital wellbeing, exploring: how to balance online and offline activities, how to stay safe physically and virtually, strategies for dealing with information overload and creating a positive digital identity.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Once upon a time, there was a world before our own: a land where the internet didn’t exist; where digital technologies did not permeate our every waking hour. It was a magical place… of playing outdoors, looking up information in books, visiting the library! An age when you didn’t know everybody’s bad opinions on every single topic, and where meeting people actually involved going to a physical place! That fabled land is a fading memory. Now it’s hard to go a day without using online digital technologies.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds We face a new and confusing world, where we can barely tell fact from fairytale; where trolls no-longer simply hide under bridges; where mobs are ready to pounce on our every indiscretion, and where big bad wolves keep their big big eyes on us, recording our every action. Has something got lost in this digital forest? Is our Prince Charming ghosting us or micro-cheating? Have we traded the prospect of a happy ending for a handful of magic beans? The world we’re in is not all grim, but it reminds us anew of the need to look after our health, safety, relationships… even our environment – not only in the physical reality of old, but in the virtual spaces we now inhabit.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds In this course we’ll be exploring some of the research, from York and elsewhere, that seeks to investigate the positive uses of digital technologies for our health, society and education. We’ll question how we might use such technologies in a way which fosters safe, accessible, and socially responsible online communities; …that makes this new world of our a better place for all of us. So join us on our quest, as we step between these physical and virtual spaces in pursuit of our personal and social wellbeing, reflecting on our own practices, and exploring the different ways by which we might all live with digital technology happily ever after…


  • Week 1

    Wellbeing in the digital world

    • Introduction

      An introduction to the course and to the first week.

    • Wellbeing & information technologies

      What do we mean by wellbeing? And how does it relate to our information society? We get our heads around the digital wellbeing landscape, and start to take a look at how technology is being employed.

    • Technology, trends, and behaviours

      We begin to look at some of the ways in which technology is shaping our behaviour, and what impacts that may have upon our wellbeing.

  • Week 2

    Identity and personal wellbeing

    • Our virtual and physical selves

      We take a look at the differences between our online and offline selves, and the impact each can have on the other.

    • Them

      We don't exist online within a vacuum. We engage with other people, and they engage with us. But that engagement isn't always a positive one.

    • The online/offline balancing act

      Being online can be great, and so can being offline. Is there a healthy balance to strike between the two, and if so, how might we go about it?

  • Week 3

    Inclusion, collaboration and digital wellbeing

    • Safety and community

      We take a look at some of the risks of online engagement and how we might keep ourselves safe.

    • Cultural change and inclusion

      We look at how digital technologies can shape our society, not only for worse but also for better.

    • Improving

      We look at some other improving effects that digital technology can have on our lives.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Engage with some of the current areas of research on digital identity and wellbeing
  • Discuss the various facets of digital wellbeing and the associated implications on both a personal and social level
  • Identify some of the benefits and risks of engaging in particular online activities with regards to personal wellbeing
  • Reflect on personal digital practices and the impact they have on digital identity and wellbeing
  • Collaborate in a safe and responsible way in online communities, considering impact on others

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in understanding health and wellbeing in the digital age. It will be of particular interest to people concerned with social science, healthcare or online communities.

Who will you learn with?

I’m Head of Research and Learning Information Services at the University of Aberdeen. I'm interested in developing citizens' critical digital literacies, digital society and enabling digital equality.

Ey up!

I'm a Teaching & Learning Advisor (sort of like an IT-minded Librarian), dancing with the ducks at the University of York.

I'm a Teaching and Learning Advisor at the University of York, developing teaching on IT topics like coding and digital creativity and helping people use digital technology more effectively.

I work for the University of York library services. I am especially interested in how libraries can improve accessibility and user engagement, both virtually and physically.

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$79/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 3 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
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Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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