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Mobile Technology: Curse or Blessing?


Dr. Margaret Stewart
Dr. Margaret Stewart

Is mobile technology a curse or a blessing? We can now chat with friends while we’re waiting for the morning train and follow trending topics on Twitter via hashtags. Social media has even helped breed social change in cases like the Arab Spring. But what has it done to human interaction? Are we more eloquent when we limit expression to 140 characters? Do digital symbols, devoid of tone, lead more to misinterpretation or understanding?


Dr. Margaret Stewart, assistant professor of Communication and Media Arts, will speak on "The impact of mobile technology and social media on globalization, professional communication, public discourse, and human interaction" on Thursday, February 27, from 3-5 p.m. in Meagher Theatre. The presentation is free and open to the public.


Dr. Stewart believes that human interaction has been altered because of the pervasive climate of technological and communicative mobility, and social media. Her presentation will discuss the impact of mobile technology and social media on globalization, civic engagement, education, public discourse, interpersonal relationships, and cultural understanding. The lecture will approach mobile technology through the lenses of privacy, vulnerability, limited context, and human compulsion.  She will address a series of questions and invite audience participation about the contemporary social web and mobile media landscape. 


Stewart has a Ph.D. in Communications Media and Instructional Technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation examined the use of new media by military spouses to communicate during wartime deployment. At Neumann, she teaches courses in new media, mass media, production, public speaking, and interpersonal and small group communication. 


She has presented her research internationally at the Department of Defense Worldwide Educational Symposium and the International Conference of Technology, Knowledge, and Society. Prior to entering higher education, she spent six years in various facets of the radio broadcasting and music industries in the Philadelphia market. 


The lecture is sponsored by the Core Writing Program in Arts and Sciences.



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