Do Cellphones Brings Us Together or Pull Us Apart?
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
Are you an information technology optimist or skeptic? Chances are, if you are a regular blog reader or poster, you fall in the former category. Yet ever feel like all that time you spend online might be displacing time spent in more meaningful face-to-face interactions? Are the social relationships forged via Web 2.0 and various mobile phone innovations really as quality as real world conversations? At American University, it's a question I ask my sophomore-level class on Communication & Society to research and debate every semester. (This past semester's debate is available here.)
On Saturday, the NY Times spotlighted similar questions in a front page Business section feature on cell phone use and networks. The article argues that the free minutes that mobile carriers allow for calls within their network is dividing the people who share informal bonds and bringing together those who have formal networks of cellphone "friends."
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- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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