- Start date: 2 December 2021
- End date: Ongoing
- Funder: Research England - Policy Support Fund
- Primary investigator: Rafe Clayton
- Co-investigators: C. Clayton, M. Potter. (Co-investigators) S. Al-Azri, I. Mogeh (Research Assistants)
£25,779 + Top up funding
Partners and collaborators
British Families in Lockdown Study
The ‘New Uses of Screens in Post-Lockdown Britain’ study (NUSPB) set out to discover the current lived experiences of British people and how screen technologies may or may not have become more permanently integrated within their day-to-day lives following the coronavirus lockdowns of 2020–2021. This research used a combination of qualitative interviews and a national survey to investigate the extent to which British people (including diverse, marginalised and young people) were increasing, decreasing or maintaining their use of screen technologies in post-lockdown UK.
Funded by Research England through the Policy Support Fund, this study broadly investigated:
- What were the participant’s positive and negative experiences of using screens?
- Comparing experiences before and after the lockdowns, in what ways specifically, had screen use changed, if at all?
- How much time did participants spend using different screens each day?
- Did they perceive any impacts of using screens on their health?
- Do participants want to be using more screens or less screens in the future?
This study builds upon data gathered during the ‘British Families in Lockdown’ study (BFiL) which identified that British parents considered themselves to be using screens more during the coronavirus lockdowns. It emerged from the BFiL study that many parents did not know how much screen time was considered safe or appropriate and that there was a lack of government guidance on the issue. Many felt they were using screens ‘too much’ and there were concerns about health impacts among the study participants.
This study will provide essential insights into an under-researched area of “urgent need” (House of Lords 2021) and will feed into the following government agendas:
- The Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into ‘The role of technology, research and innovation in the COVID-19 recovery’
- COVID-19 Committee inquiries into ‘Living online’, ‘Life beyond COVID’ and ‘The long term impact of the pandemic on parents and families’
- DCMS building upon ‘Online safety and online harms’ inquiry 2021.
- 9 February 2022 – Oral evidence given to ‘Impact of Technology’ POSTnote.
- 17 February 2022 - Written evidence published by DCMS Inquiry – ‘Reimagining Where We Live: Cultural Placemaking and the Levelling Up Agenda’
- 11 March 2022 - Written evidence provided to the ‘Impact of Technology’ POSTnote
- 12 May 2022 Cited in ‘The impact of digital technology on arts and culture in the UK’ – UK Parliament POST 0669
- 12 October 2022 - Written evidence published by Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation
- 17 October 2022 – Cited in ‘The impact of remote and hybrid working on workers and organisations’ – UK Parliament POST 0049
- 2 November 2022 – Cited in ‘Remaining where we live: cultural placemaking and the levelling up agenda’ –Third Report of Session 2022 – 2023, Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport
- 29 November 2022 – Oral evidence to be presented to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
- 15 March 2023 – Proposal for Prevention in Healthcare, Published by the Health and Social Care Committee
16 March 2022 – ‘Global Covid-19 Summit’ - Exploring the wider impact of Covid-19 on families worldwide. Leeds, UK.
8 March 2023 – ‘Mental Health and Communication Policy Seminar’, University of Leeds, UK
4 May 2023 - ‘American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting’, Chicago, USA
- 10 March 2022 – ‘UK Screen Use in 2022’
- 1 April 2022 – ‘Screen Use Soars Amongst UK Adults’
- 8 April 2022 – Covid lockdowns ’caused a screen time boom’ up to 14 hours per day
- 8 April 2022 – Asma Younus – BBC Sounds – clip starts at two hours, 55 minutes and eight seconds
- 20 April 2022 – Netflix’s share crash is forcing investors to reconsider the value of major tech companies – i News
- 24 April 2022 – WhatsApp is ruining our lives – The Telegraph
- 8 May 2022 – WhatsApp addiction – How does a smart application control our lives? – Aljazeera
- 14 September 2022 - Eye health should be the focus for post-pandemic office workers - Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce
- 26 September 2022 - Constant Screen Time Working is Putting Eyesight at Risk –HR Director
- 9 November 2022 – How to Talk About Digital Eye Strain to Patients Optometry Today
- 15 March 2023 – Is it possible to digital detox anymore? - BBC
Publications and outputs
Clayton, R., Clayton, C., Potter, M., Al-Azri, S. and Mogeh, I. (2022) ‘New Uses of Screens in Post-Lockdown Britain: Study Report and Findings’. Report. University of Leeds, Leeds.
Clayton, R., Clayton, C. and Potter, M. (2022) ‘Reimagining Where We Live: Cultural Placemaking and the Levelling Up Agenda’. Written evidence published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee , UK Parliament, London
Clayton, R., Clayton, C. and Potter, M. (2022) ‘UK Families Experiences of Film and TV… COVID and Beyond’. Report. University of Leeds, Leeds.
Clayton, R & Clayton, C (2022) ‘UK screen use in 2022: A need for guidance’. Report. Policy Briefs (9). Policy Leeds, University of Leeds, Leeds.
Clayton, C., Clayton, R. & Potter, M. (2022) 'Misinformation and Trusted Voices During the Pandemic’. Written evidence published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation, UK Parliament, London
Clayton, R. & Clayton, C. (2023) ‘Health Impacts of Digital Screens - A New Call for Guidance’, Prevention Inquiry Proposal, Published by the Health and Social Care Committee, UK Parliament, London