ESRC Digital Good Network


Digital mattering: A philosophical anthropology of mobile messaging as everyday human goodness

This work reframes the question of what is a ‘good’ digital society to consider how goodness may start from small building blocks of everyday, mundane communication between individuals and their friends/family. These can be framed as the foundation of belonging; creating a sense of digital ‘mattering’ to others.

This is important as strong social connectedness is noted as the bedrock of communities which demonstrate resilience in the face of crises or adverse circumstances. This project will collect empirical data on mobile device messaging (as ubiquitous and ever-present in daily life) as acts of human caring, which will then prompt creative design responses to explore further possibilities to facilitate and scaffold ‘mattering’. Collectively these materials will provide provocations for discussion of philosophical anthropology during a series of international workshops exploring the concepts of human ‘goodness’, its significance, and its potential in the design of technologies in a digital age.


Dr Effie Le Moignan, Assistant Professor in Computer and Information Sciences, Northumbria University

Dr Christian Early, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Interim Director – Ethical Reasoning in Action, James Madison University

Professor David Kirk, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Director of Open Lab and Centre for Digital Citizens, Newcastle University

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