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1.5 million EU subsidy for research on digital well-being

Published: 07th September 2020 Last updated: 28th September 2020

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Mariek Vanden Abeele received an ERC (European Research Council) grant of 1.5 million euros for her research: Digital Wellbeing in a Culture of Ubiquitous Connectivity: Towards a Dynamic Pathway Model (DISCONNECT). Vanden Abeele is affiliated with the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences.

Digital technologies ensure an ever present connection. They can strengthen us, but at the same time threaten our autonomy. They help us to manage our daily lives, but also divert our attention from our primary activities and exert pressure to be permanently online and permanently connected. This paradox forces us to balance connection and disconnection. 

Mariek Vanden Abeele wants to fill this gap by building a dynamic model of digital well-being. Through empirical testing of her model she hopes to gain new insights. How do individuals understand digital well-being? Which constellations of personal, device and context specific factors contribute to digital well-being and protect us against burnout or depression? How effective are interventions such as digital detoxes and screen monitoring apps?

Supported by new evidence about digital connection, users, technology developers and policy makers are more likely to make our relationship with technology happier and healthier. 

The grant is for 5 years and 1 postdoc and 2 PhD students will be appointed.