Professional Development
Social media / Universities

Towson prof: Does social media leave us more disconnected?

Andrew Reiner's course explores "intimacy in the age of Facebook."

An artistic rendering of Twitter's "fail whale." (Photo by Flickr user Matthias Töpfer, used under a Creative Commons license)

If you’re staying connected to Baltimore on your phone through social media — first, thanks — Andrew Reiner thinks you’re actually becoming more disconnected from the real world.
The Baltimore Sun reports on the class Reiner teaches at Towson University.

Students in his classes often seem hesitant to disagree with each other, he says — a development he attributes to their need to attract as much approval in real life as they get online. And he believes their careful curation of their identities on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has made it difficult for them to connect with their peers on a deeper level.
In his course “Alone Together: Finding Intimacy in the Age of Facebook,” Reiner, 50, is asking students this fall to explore whether technological advances and social media have left them more isolated from each other and less able to connect in real life.

Reiner’s ideas are controversial, especially among many students often seen browsing Facebook and playing “Candy Crush Saga” in the backs of classrooms everywhere. Reiner tells the Sun that though social media can be useful, it shouldn’t override real-world interactions.
Read the full story in the Baltimore Sun

Companies: Towson University

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