Digital life and social sustainability

Digital technology permeates every aspect of life, whether it’s socializing, learning, shopping, gaming, culture, entertainment, administration or healthcare. Different life situations are increasingly spilling over into the digital space, and real and digital life seem to be increasingly converging (Gratch, Gratch 2021; Ragnedda 2017; van Dijk 2005).

The outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 has given a new impetus to digital transformation. In a period of health crisis, digital solutions, previously seen as an option in many areas of life, have become exclusive, while significant segments of societies are shocked by the “new world” that is so alien to them (Beaunoyer, Dupéré, Guitton 2020; Robinson et al. 2020; Nguyen et al. 2020).

In the post-Coronavirus era, the sustainability of digital life has become a timely issue, as social sustainability and digital transformation have become the keywords of the ongoing reconstruction process (EESC 2020).

The issue of social sustainability has gained prominence in the last few years, especially as we are already experiencing many of the negative consequences of human behavior. Social sustainability refers to an approach that prioritizes the maintenance or improvement of people’s well-being. The focus is on improving social cohesion and integrity, social stability and quality of life. Social sustainability therefore requires the reduction of social inequalities, equitable distribution of resources, harmonious social relations and an acceptable quality of life (UN 2015; Fleischer 2014).

In this conference, we will explore the application of the social sustainability approach to digital life. The digital life that emerges from the socio-economic-cultural reality also reflects the imprints, patterns, challenges and traps that have been created by the real events of recent times. Hence, the sustainability of digital life is linked to the sustainability of real social life. Sustainability also implies the ability to shape the future in a flexible way, which is why it is an important research task to map digital futures, to critically interpret the emerging “new worlds” and to formulate scientifically demanding scenarios for sustainable digital life.


Beaunoyer, E., Dupéré, S, Guitton, M. J. (2020). COVID-19 and digital inequalities: Reciprocal impacts and mitigation strategies. Computers in Human Behavior, 111, online.

EESC (2020). EESC proposals for post-COVID-19 crisis reconstruction and recovery:  “The EU must be guided by the principle of being considered a community of common destiny.” Online: (2021/11/3)

Fleischer, T. (2014). On the concept of sustainability. In Public service and sustainability. , Budapest: National University of Public Service, 9-24.

Gratch, L.M., Gratch, A. (2021). Digital Performance in Everyday Life. Routledge.

Nguyen, M. H., Gruber, J., Fuchs, J., Marler, W., Hunsaker, A., Hargittai, E. (2020). Changes in Digital Communication During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic: Implications for Digital Inequality and Future Research. Social Media + Society, 6, 3,

Ragnedda, M. (2017). The Third Digital Divide. A Weberian Approach to Digital Inequalities. London, New York: Routledge.

Robinson, L., Schulz, J., Khilnani, A., Ono, H., Cotten, S. R., McClain, N., Levine, L., Chen, W., Huang, G., Casilli, A. A., Tubaro, P., Dodel, M., Quan-Haase, A., Ruiu, M. L., Ragnedda, M., Aikat, D., Tolentino, N. (2020). Digital inequalities in time of pandemic: COVID-19 exposure risk profiles and new forms of vulnerability. First Monday.

UN (2015). Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (2021/11/3)

Van Dijk (2005). The Deepening Divide. Inequality in the Information Society. Sage: London.

About the Conference

The conference is organized by the Department of Applied Social Sciences of Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania.

Members of the Organizing Committee are Gyöngyvér Tőkés (chairperson), József Gagyi and Barna Kovács.

The conference will be held offline, but this may change due to health regulations. If travel is a problem, presentations can be made online.

You can register via the conference webpage from 15 March to 17 April 2022 here: Feedback on acceptance of registration will be sent until 24 April.

Proceedings of the conference will be published in the 2022 issue of Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Communicatio, an internationally indexed journal, in English. The deadline for submission of manuscripts is 30 August. Papers should be prepared according to the guidelines at