Digital Detox2021-05-27T10:12:15-07:00
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Digital Detox 2021: Digital Equity & Inclusion in a Pandemic

Digital Detox is an initiative to reduce the toxicity of our personal digital environments and how we engage with them. Our topic for Digital Detox 2021 is Digital Equity and Inclusion in a Pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed us to use technologies in new ways in our lives — for work, for connecting socially, for teaching, for doing business, and more. The pandemic has also amplified the many issues of digital equity and inclusion present in digital technologies — from surveillance, to issues of access and accessibility, to bias and racism encoded in digital technologies. In past digital detoxes, we have addressed some of these issues and, in this detox, we’ll revisit them and others through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. The detoxes will include reflections and strategies to help you re-evaluate the role technology plays in your life, work, and social world.

In the office of Digital Learning and Inquiry (DLINQ), we look holistically at “the digital” in our lives and in our educational environments. This means we examine the promises and the risks of how we use digital tools, how those tools impact various facets of our lives and interactions, and the increasingly blurred edges between physical and digital realms.

A digital detox can help all of us to develop more critical, self-protective, and healthy habits in digital spaces. This digital detox is a little different from ones you may have seen out there, that generally promote time away from technology to encourage more mindfulness. During DLINQ’s detox, yes, you may look at mindful and healthy habits, but we’ll also show other ways to critique and address the toxicity of our personal digital environments.

In 2020, we turned our attention to Attention in the Attention economy. We explored how the attention economy drives the design of digital environments, impacts our relationships to and through digital tools, impacts our ability to attend to important things, and extracts our data for the profits of corporations. We also shared the impact of the digital attention economy on students and explored strategies for bringing focus back to learning. Topics included: self-care as activism, leveraging UX/design to help channel attention, the impact of automation/AI on attention, noticing in the digital world, thwarting attention metrics in digital platforms, and more!


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