Campus ‘unplugs’ from technology

For Immediate Release:  Feb. 9, 2015

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University’s campus community has been asked to take a pledge to temporarily unplug from technology. Sponsored by the Institute for Culture and Society of the College of Liberal Arts, students, faculty and staff are asked to join the all-day, campus-wide BU Unplugged Symposium on Tuesday, Feb. 17, for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Students, in particular, are asked to unplug from cell phones and the Internet, said Archita Banik, assistant professor of economics at BU. As social media sites such as Facebook and YikYak become increasingly popular, it is important to become aware of how much time is spent on these online sources, she added. Faculty members are asked to the take the pledge to use alternative teaching methods in their classrooms. 

As part of the event, Nancy Rothbard, professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania, will provide the keynote presentation, “Social Media and the Social Minefield: A Survival Guide for the University, the Workplace and Life.” Rothbard will discuss the social impacts of technology on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in McCormick Center, room 1303.

Rothbard earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and doctoral degree in organizational behavior from the University of Michigan. Her research, focusing on the relationship between emotions and engagement, has been published in academic journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science and Personnel Psychology.

Also planned is a roundtable discussion on the merits of technology, specifically smart phones, on Monday, Feb. 16, at 3:30 p.m. in the Kehr Union Hide-Away. Participants are BU faculty David Magolis, associate professor of mass communications; David Heineman, assistant professor of communications studies; Megumi Omori, associate professor of sociology, social work and criminal justice; and Regina Bobak, assistant professor of developmental instruction.

The film “Disconnect” will be shown Monday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in McCormick Center, room 1303. The drama follows a group of individuals, including a lawyer attached to his cell phone, a couple risking exposure online and the mother of a cyberbully, as they search for meaningful human connection in a world of technology.

All events are free and open to the public.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.