Dr. Philip Zimbardo and I are co-authors of the upcoming Man (Dis)connected: How technology has sabotaged what it means to be male, which will be published as a hard copy in May, 2015 by Rider (UK and US) and PWN (Poland).
Man (Dis)connected is an elaboration of our 2012 TED polemic Demise of Guys that delves much deeper into the important discussion about young men and the complex issues and challenges they face. Man (Dis)connected has also been restructured by symptoms, causes, and solutions, making the issues easier for readers to understand and navigate. Some of the topics covered include fatherlessness, the failing school system including the unbalanced ratio of female/male teachers, the growing costs of living, the rise of women, patriarchy myths, obesity and environmental factors, and the overuse of medications.
We felt it was important to approach the topics from multiple angles, thus the book weaves together the perspectives of a young female (me), who, as a Millenial, has grown up in the thick of changing technologies, and an older male (Phil), who has an abundance of life experience, along with the views of many young men and women, making it a unique collaboration. In order to challenge our personal views, we developed a detailed online survey with a host of questions that touched on different aspects of Demise. We posted it alongside Phil’s TED talk, asking questions such as, “How would you change the school environment to engage young men?” and “How can we empower men is safe, pro-social ways?”
Remarkably, in barely two months, 20,000 people took the short survey. About three-quarters (76 percent) of the participants were men; more than half were between 18 and 34 years old. But people of all ages and backgrounds and both sexes shared their thoughts and feelings about these issues and their subplots. In addition, thousands of respondents were sufficiently motivated to go further by adding personal comments, from a sentence to a page long. We also conducted an additional smaller study with 67 high school students from across the U.K. to get a better feel of their concerns. After reading all of the responses, I followed up with some of the respondents for personal interviews, and their opinions and experiences are shared throughout the text.