Expanding research on digital wellbeing

The need for new research

Not only do we need new research that focuses on both the benefits and risks of technology, we also need to rethink what we ask people, who we include in this research and how we work together to use the findings.

Most scientific research on digital wellbeing has relied on self-reported questionnaires, which are heavily subjective. Could you say how many hours or minutes you used your phone yesterday without checking your screen time metrics? Probably not!

Existing studies also typically have small or unrepresentative samples. To make sure research and potential solutions support everyone, it’s critical for new research methodologies to incorporate data from people historically underrepresented in health research.

Finally, many studies might miss certain patterns of behavior that reveal complex relationships between device use and wellbeing — like the relationship between screen time and sleep.

Understanding these relationships can inform insights and guidelines for developers and people to maximize wellbeing and minimize risks. Scientists around the globe are calling for greater transparency and collaboration between the technology sector and independent scientists to solve these problems and provide the answers we need.


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