Tech & Wellbeing in the Era of Covid-19

Date and Time

July 1, 2020 10:00 AM

Tech and Wellbeing in the Era of Covid-19
Tara Wright
Please join the Cyber Policy Center for Tech & Wellbeing in the Era of Covid-19 with Jeff Hancock from Stanford University, Amy Orben from Emmanuel College, and Erica Pelavin, Co-Founder of My Digital TAT2, in conversation with Kelly Born, Executive Director of the Cyber Policy Center. The session will explore the risks and opportunities technologies pose to users’ wellbeing; what we know about the impact of technology on mental health, particularly for teens; how the current pandemic may change our perceptions of technology; and ways in which teens are using apps, influencers and platforms to stay connected under Covid-19.


Dr. Amy Orben is College Research Fellow at Emmanuel College and the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. Her work using large-scale datasets to investigate social media use and teenage mental health has been published in a range of leading scientific journals. The results have put into question many long-held assumptions about the potential risks and benefits of ’screen time'. Alongside her research, Amy campaigns for the use of improved statistical methodology in the behavioural sciences and the adoption of more transparent and open scientific practices, having co-founded the global ReproducibiliTea initiative. Amy also regularly contributes to both media and policy debate, having recently given evidence to the UK Commons Science and Technology Select Committee and various governmental investigations.

Jeff Hancock is founding director of the Stanford Social Media Lab and is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. Professor Hancock and his group work on understanding psychological and interpersonal processes in social media. The team specializes in using computational linguistics and experiments to understand how the words we use can reveal psychological and social dynamics, such as deception and trust, emotional dynamics, intimacy and relationships, and social support. Recently Professor Hancock has begun work on understanding the mental models people have about algorithms in social media, as well as working on the ethical issues associated with computational social science.

Erica Pelavin, is an educator, public speaker, and Co-Founder and Director of Teen Engagement at My Digital TAT2. Working from a strength-based perspective, Erica has expertise in bullying prevention, relational aggression, digital safety, social emotional learning, and conflict resolution. Dr. Pelavin has a passion for helping young people develop the skills to become their own advocates and cares deeply about helping school communities foster empathy and respect. In her role at My Digital TAT2, Erica leads all programming for high schoolers including the youth led podcast Media in the Middle, the teen advisory boards and an annual summer internship program. Her work with teens directly impacts and informs the developmental school based curriculum. Erica is also a high school counselor at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, CA.

Watch the recorded session