The ethics of digital well-being: a thematic review

Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (4):2313–⁠2343 (2020)

Abstract

This article presents the first thematic review of the literature on the ethical issues concerning digital well-being. The term ‘digital well-being’ is used to refer to the impact of digital technologies on what it means to live a life that is good for a human being. The review explores the existing literature on the ethics of digital well-being, with the goal of mapping the current debate and identifying open questions for future research. The review identifies major issues related to several key social domains: healthcare, education, governance and social development, and media and entertainment. It also highlights three broader themes: positive computing, personalised human–computer interaction, and autonomy and self-determination. The review argues that three themes will be central to ongoing discussions and research by showing how they can be used to identify open questions related to the ethics of digital well-being.

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