Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2012

Capstone Advisor

Professor Laurence Thomas

Honors Reader

Professor George Rhinehart

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Philosophy | Philosophy of Language | Social Media


The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for evaluating and understanding the roles of digital media, in particular the mobile phone and the internet, in our interpersonal and societal relationships. Though this paper is essentially grounded in research, drawing from the work of psychologists, cyber anthropologists, philosophers, and professors of communication studies as well as years of personal observations, it should be understood as more of a theoretical rather than research-based primer on the effects of digital media in our everyday lives. While this paper includes various ways digital connections can improve our relationships, it primarily discusses how such communication can threaten the authenticity and meaningfulness of personal connections. It concludes with a few considerations about how people can shape their personal connections to accommodate for ever-advancing technologies and, with digital media, build stronger relationships and more diverse connections.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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