Opportunities and challenges of the digital lifespan: views of service providers and citizens in the UK

Kathryn M. Orzech (Lead / Corresponding author), Wendy Moncur, Abigail Durrant, Diego Trujillo-Pisanty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
214 Downloads (Pure)


Information about UK citizens’ use of digital technologies is often expressed in statistics – x% lack Internet access; y% get online to engage in online banking, update social media sites, or participate in online auctions. There are many social implications to digital technology use, however – individuals may communicate online as a major way to stay in touch with friends and family, and as Internet access rises and government and public sector budgets shrink, online services become an increasingly attractive way for government and public sector service providers to communicate with citizens. This paper presents selected results of an exploratory study designed to investigate the digital personhood of UK citizens through interviews with participants at three life transitions: leaving secondary school, becoming a parent, and retiring from work. Digital personhood in this paper implies identity information online, and some interaction with others around that information. We then report on our presentation of a selection of these results to thirteen stakeholders who represented UK government departments, public sector organisations, and industry. We found that citizen and stakeholder concerns were quite different, especially at the new parent life transition, and that stakeholders tended to underestimate the willingness and ability of citizens to become involved online with the government and public sector, and overestimate citizens’ vulnerability online. Future research should investigate practical strategies for increasing communication between stakeholders and citizens, and also how to encourage stakeholders to work together to benefit their common clientele – the citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-29
Number of pages16
JournalInformation, Communication and Society
Issue number1
Early online date17 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • E-government
  • digital literacy
  • civil servants
  • public sector
  • online privacy
  • trust
  • impact

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  • Projects

    Research Output

    • 4 Citations
    • 3 Paper
    • 2 Article
    • 1 Book
    • 1 Chapter (peer-reviewed)

    Rich pictures for stakeholder dialogue: A polyphonic picture book

    Durrant, A. C., Kirk, D. S., Moncur, W., Orzech, K. M., Taylor, R. & Trujillo Pisanty, D., May 2018, In : Design Studies. 56, p. 122-148 27 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    175 Downloads (Pure)

    Fraping, social norms and online representations of self

    Moncur, W., Orzech, K. M. & Neville, F. G., Oct 2016, In : Computers in Human Behavior. 63, p. 125-131 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 7 Citations (Scopus)
    229 Downloads (Pure)

    On presenting a rich picture for stakeholder dialogue

    Durrant, A., Moncur, W., Orzech, K., Trujillo-Pisanty, D. & Kirk, D., 2016, Proceedings of DRS 2016: Design + Research + Society Future-Focused Thinking. LLoyd, P. & Bohemia, E. (eds.). London: Design Research Society, Vol. 6 . p. 2183-2201 19 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Open Access
    215 Downloads (Pure)

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