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How's Life in the Digital Age?

Opportunities and Risks of the Digital Transformation for People's Well-being

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This report documents how the ongoing digital transformation is affecting people’s lives across the 11 key dimensions that make up the How’s Life? Well-being Framework (Income and wealth, Jobs and earnings, Housing, Health status, Education and skills, Work-life balance, Civic engagement and governance, Social connections, Environmental quality, Personal security, and Subjective well-being). A summary of existing studies highlights 39 key impacts of the digital transformation on people’s well-being. The review shows that these impacts can be positive as digital technologies expand the boundaries of information availability and enhance human productivity, but can also imply risks for people’s well-being, ranging from cyber-bullying to the emergence of disinformation or cyber-hacking. In sum, making digitalisation work for people’s well-being would require building equal digital opportunities, widespread digital literacy and strong digital security. Continued research and efforts in improving statistical frameworks will be needed to expand our knowledge on the many topics covered in this report.

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How's life in the digital age in Ireland?

Ireland shows average performance both in exposure to the risks of the digital transformation as well as in the extent to which it reaps the benefits. While Internet access is above the OECD average, Internetuse is slightly below, as are adult digital skills. At the same time, digital security risks are low, and very few people in Ireland report having been exposed to disinformation. Irish 15-year-olds report incidents of cyberbullying at comparatively high rates and are more likely to use the Internet for extreme use, but students have less access to digital resources than in most OECD countries, and only 4.4% of people report using online education over the past 3 months – well below the OECD average. In Ireland, information industries contribute significantly to employment with a 4% of total employment, higher than the OECD average, but the share of computer-based jobs is also associated with higher rates of job stress and worries about workoutside of workhours than in other OECD countries, although also benefit a fair amount from lower extended job strain.

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