Posted by George Thomas Jr.
Whether technology will diminish the intimacy of interpersonal relationships or in some way negatively impact humanity is an age-old concern. Opinions on the matter are as robust as the technological leaps occurring ever more rapidly in our history.
But opinion can't trump research. It's been just five years since Microsoft's Nancy Baym (@nancybaym) published her research on the subject in Personal Connections in the Digital Age, but much has changed since then -- not just technology, but how we use it -- leading Baym to build upon her initial research and publish a second edition of Personal Connections released this week.
Tom Standage, digital editor of The Economist, says Baym's "brilliant book explodes myths and challenges stereotypes," and Sonia Livingstone of the London School of Economics and Political Science cites Baym's optimism, "showing how we may yet build new, perhaps better, personal connections in the digital age."
In the following Q&A, Baym discusses what's new in the second edition, the predictability and unpredictability of technology and how we use it, and where her research is headed -- at least as far as she can predict.
Guest blogger, Rudolf Vesely, shows how to evaluate time synchronization.