How We Use Digital Media Is Drastically Changing Our Lives

Young man working on laptop
Young man working on laptop

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 percent 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:

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and The World Economic Forum sharing insights gained from surveying 5,000 digital media users from Brazil, China, Germany, South Africa and the U.S on the impact of digital media on society. The series is developed in conjunction with the Forum's Shaping the Future Implications of Digital Media for Society project and the Forum's Impact of Digital Content: Opportunities and Risks of Creating and Sharing Information Online white paper. The series is running during the Forum's Annual Meeting 2016 (in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, Jan. 20-23). Read all the posts in the series here.

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