The first edition of Interpersonal Divide was prescient in 2005 and among the first to question technology’s impact on families, communities and society. For a time, only Michael Bugeja’s book and ones by MIT’s Sherry Turkle were on the market. Dr. Bugeja’s work takes a different approach from the personal narrative tone of MIT’s Turkle’s books, especially her Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. In a favorable review of Turkle’s book, the Huffington Post wrote in 2011: “The other member of this pair was an award winning journalist, ethicist and communications specialist named Michael Bugeja whose classic and prescient study of technology and social capital made points very similar to those of Alone Together seven years earlier.” As such, the author of this second edition has investigated this topic since 1999. Oxford Univ. Press published the first edition as “a subversive book” because it challenged the status quo concerning a brave new world associated with technological diffusion.
The second edition. retitled Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine, focuses on a revolution more impactful than that of the Internet Revolution of the 1990s, and that is, the developing age of big data. As journalism fails to inform society because of social media, which affirms beliefs at the expense of verifiable truth, students are ill prepared to face an automated age in which they will have to invent their own jobs to secure their future, requiring critical and creative thinking—first and foremost about the nature of technology—which changes everything it touches without changing much itself. We are existing in a world without “why,” as algorithms that mediate our lives correlate without causation in the name of corporate profit.
The new edition explores media history and journalism ethics with a futurist prognostication. Unlike competitive books, including ones by Turkle that are written with a first person narrator like a work of creative non-fiction, Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine, employs an engaging third-person prose style as a scholarly work should, thoroughly researched, with recommended exercises for students. Writing style is important. A National Endowment for the Arts winner and author of 25 books, Dr. Bugeja’s style is informed both by his creative writing and journalistic descriptive prose. Coupled with his knowledge of educational standards as the Scripps Outstanding Administrator of the Year, as well as an award-winning teacher, Dr. Bugeja is able to reach students in memorable ways, especially through end-of-chapter exercises that instill core competencies in readers.
The book has a target market of data science, journalism, mass communication, communication studies, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, computer science, media literacy, marketing and business classes. Finally, this website will inform instructors and students about the latest news in human v, artificial intelligence.