Constantly Connected Culture Focus of Colloquium

Posted on: October 21, 2013

Peter-VordererMobile technology has made it possible to always be connected to the Internet. This culture of being constantly connected and the effects it has is the topic of the Friday, Oct. 25, colloquium presented by Peter Vorderer, Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Mannheim, Germany. The colloquium is scheduled from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in CAS 147.

Vorderer is an expert in media psychology and interdisciplinary media research, especially in entertainment studies and new media. He is visiting the College of Communication Arts & Sciences this month doing research within the Communication department and with Ron Tamborini, Director of Doctoral Studies and Professor in the Communication department. Vorderer also is teaching a doctoral seminar while he is here on what he calls "the new phenomenon of being permanently online, permanently connected" where people are continuously online and connected through smartphones, tablets and other mobile technology.

Through his research of that phenomenon, Vorderer examines the manifestations of this behavior, the motivations for, and the short- and long-term consequences of it.

"People more and more often are present in social situations, but also absent at the same time," Vorderer said. "I am looking at the effects of that. Do we compromise our interactions with other people? How does it affect our relationships? What are the long-term consequences?

Vorderer's research also focuses on exposure to entertaining content in various media (books, TV, radio, audiotapes, video games, etc.) and the effects this exposure has on users. It addresses questions regarding why people, habitually or instrumentally, seek specific psychological states through specific media and what affect this media use has on them.

Vorderer has a Ph.D. in Media Studies from Technical University of Berlin and two master's degrees, one in sociology from the University of Mannheim and the other in psychology from the University of Heidelberg. He is the president-elect of the International Communication Association.

Vorderer is visiting CAS through the end of October and will continue to supervise the students in his doctoral seminar when he returns to Germany.

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