"Interpersonal Divide" Challenge
Students disclose online class behavior
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"TV Video Documenting Divide"
WHOtv video. (Requires Quicktime)
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"Podcast on Economist Debate"
Bugeja speaks about technology's cost 
"Multitasking in the Digital Age"
Bugeja and Jan Bartlett on Iowa Journal

Recent News

Huffington Post acknowledges Interpersonal Divide first to question consumer technology The Huffington Post

Michael Bugeja wins national media ethics research award for a second time with his
  Living Ethics Across Media Platforms

"Marshall McLuhan predicted that technology would sharpen our senses, but, instead, as the writer Michael Bugeja said last week, it seems to split them" The New Yorker

"Social networks are essentially data mining what you are putting on that page," he says. "The application is not programmed to bring you a friend. The application is programmed to make money" USA Today

"It's great to have a lot of Facebook friends, but how many of them will show up when you're really in trouble?" asks Michael J. Bugeja, author of Interpersonal Divide" Newsweek

The idea that subject matter is boring is truly relative. Boring as opposed to what? Buying shoes on eBay? [W]e’re not here to entertain. We’re here to stimulate the life of the mind   The New York Times

This is the Age of Distraction. And distraction in academia is deadly because it undermines critical thinking. That impacts all of us—and the future 
The Futurist

Michael Bugeja views Facebook as one of several distractions that the spread of wireless access has allowed to flourish on campuses [and] worries technology will undermine critical thinking.— Christian Science Monitor.

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<>Recent Reviews

For reviews of Interpersonal Divide from the Washington Post to Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, click here.

Interpersonal Divide:
The Search for Community in a Technological Age


Order onlineResearched between 1999 and 2004, and more pertinent and prophetic today than ever, Interpersonal Divide continues to be one of the few theoretical works that provide alternatives to theories by Everett Rogers and McLuhan. Cited by major media around the world, Interpersonal Divide documents how Internet and other digital technologies have failed to deliver the fabled global village. The Huffington Post calls Interpersonal Divide "a classic," acknowledging this to be the first major work to question consumer technology. Far from feeling connected to a wider world, author Michael Bugeja analyzes how we fell into the "interpersonal divide" — the void that develops when we spend too much time in virtual rather than real communities, neglecting our primary relationships and with that, our sense of self. In this innovative book, Bugeja traces media history to document how other generations coped with similar social problems during great technological change and makes a compelling case for face-to-face communication in an increasingly technological world.

Interpersonal Divide, which won the Clifford G. Christians Award for research in media ethics, documents how long-standing theories—including ones by Marshall McLuhan—no longer hold in the wake of new media and technology. Rather than extending the human senses, as McLuhan believed, Bugeja documents how media and technology split consciousness and diminish the senses, placing users in virtual environments at odds with physical ones. Bugeja's work, based on the philosophy of Jacques Ellul, advances contributions of Theodore Roszak (The Cult of Information), James Howard Kunstler (Geography of Nowhere), Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death) and Robert Putnam (Bowling Alone).

Bugeja investigates profit-minded media ecosystems polluting Internet and digital devices with marketing ploys, delivering to consumers a global mall rather than a global village. He asks consumers to analyze consumer technologies and gain control over them by understanding the marketing motives seamlessly interwoven in the interface or application. The text also promotes "interpersonal intelligence," knowing when, where and for what purpose technology may be appropriate or inappropriate. This means shutting off the portable devices that endanger us while driving, that distract us in class or at conferences, and that interrupt us during outings and vacations. He advocates for educational and informational uses, safeguarding our technological investment.

Interpersonal Divide has been cited in The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, The Futurist, The Economist (UK), The Guardian (UK), The Ecologist (UK), Toronto Globe & Mail (Canada), Die Welt (Germany), China Daily, The International Herald Tribune (France), Forbes, Business Week, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education as well as online news editions of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.