"Combining in-depth knowledge of the topic based on decades ofBaym's own and others' research with a clear, concise andstraightforward writing style that makes it a joy to read, this isthe kind of accessible book that many academics would love to havewritten."Times Higher Education
"Lively and thought-provoking throughout, this book challengesthe myth that ‘cyberspace' dramatically transforms personalconnections by revealing, instead, the complex and subtle ways inwhich people manage social interaction online and offline inresponse to the affordances of the various modes of communicationavailable."
Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics and authorof Children and the Internet
"Something is happening. Do you know what it is? Nancy Baymdoes, with a book bristling with ideas and authority. Filled withclear, lively writing, she both surveys and advances the field. Ilearned so much."
Barry Wellman, University of Toronto
"Baym provides us a clear, concise, and thought-provokingdiscussion of the role of new digital media our interpersonal andsocietal relationships. She creates a welcome blend of her own andothers' research, the affordances and capabilities of new media,historical and technical contexts of the telegraph through theInternet, stable as well as changing societal norms, and her ownInternet experiences."
Ronald E. Rice, University of California, SantaBarbara
From the Back Cover
The internet and the mobile phone have disrupted many of our conventional understandings of ourselves and our relationships, raising anxieties and hopes about their effects on our lives. This timely and vibrant book provides frameworks for thinking critically about the roles of digital media in personal relationships. Rather than providing exuberant accounts or cautionary tales, it offers a data-grounded primer on how to make sense of these important changes in relational life.
The book identifies the core relational issues these media disturb and shows how our talk about them echo historical discussions about earlier communication technologies. Chapters explore how we use mediated language and nonverbal behavior to develop and maintain communities, social networks, and new relationships, and to maintain existing relationships in our everyday lives. The book combines research findings with lively examples to address questions such as: Can mediated interaction can be warm and personal? Are people honest about themselves online? Can relationships that start online work? Do digital media damage the other relationships in our lives? Throughout, the book argues that these questions must be answered with firm understandings of media qualities and the social and personal contexts in which they are developed and used.
Personal Connections in the Digital Age will be required reading for all students and scholars of media, communication studies, and sociology, as well as all those who want a richer understanding of digital media and everyday life.