Colloquia Series

Technology and Interpersonal Relationships:The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Watch Recording

February 23

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

7–8:30 PM

Presented by Penn College faculty, John Maize, Sandra Lakey, & Joseph Loehr.

Today’s communication technology has changed the way we engage with others. It has enhanced our personal communication so that now we feel connected even though thousands of miles divide us. These connections may benefit our relationships, but at what costs? As we connect with those at a distance, what happens to our relationships with people next to us? As we check the latest picture from a friend’s party, we interrupt our current conversations. As we update our Facebook status, we post information that might later be embarrassing. As we seethe over an argument online, we lose our inhibitions and post hurtful remarks. As we stare at our phone and tablet screens, we ignore the nonverbal expressions of the people directly in front of us.

The question we ask with increasing urgency is how do we maintain our interpersonal relationships and communication skills as we experience the benefits of technology? Join Sandra Lakey, Joseph Loehr, and John Maize as they use video, imagery, and audience participation to explore these questions about the good, the bad, and the ugly in today’s communication technologies.


  • Baym, N. (2012). Personal connections in the digital age. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
  • Steiner-Adair,C. (2014). The big disconnect: Protecting childhood and family relationships in the digital age. New York: Harper.
  • Turkle, S. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books.
  • Turkle, S. ( 2015). Reclaiming conversation: The power of talk in a digital age. New York: Penguin Press.

Penn College faculty: Maize, Lakey, and Loehr