New Uses of Screens in Post-Lockdown Britain

Value

£25,779 + Top up funding

Partners and collaborators

British Families in Lockdown Study

Black background with 'New Uses of Screens in Post-Lockdown Britain' written in white font. In the top left corner is the Research England logo also in white. To the right are various scenic images.

Description

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:

  1. What were the participant’s positive and negative experiences of using screens?
  2. Comparing experiences before and after the lockdowns, in what ways specifically, had screen use changed, if at all?
  3. How much time did participants spend using different screens each day?
  4. Did they perceive any impacts of using screens on their health?
  5. 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.

Impact

Policy engagements

  • 9 February 2022 – Oral evidence from the study given to ‘Impact of Technology’ POSTnote.
  • 17 February 2022 - Written Evidence provided to the 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

Conference Presentations

  • 16 March 2022 – ‘Global Covid-19 Summit’ - Exploring the wider impact of Covid-19 on families worldwide. Leeds, UK.

Press

Publications and outputs