Fifty years ago, Edward T. Hall’s The Hidden Dimension uncovered proxemics for a generation of scholars and students of human communication. Today, Digital Proxemics: How Technology Shapes the Ways We Move examines the study of proxemics in digital, hybrid, and digitally enhanced spaces.


The study of proxemics—the human use of space—is reimagined for the digital age in this book, a compelling examination of the future of the ways we move. Whereas much writing on the subject focuses on what digital technology might do for us, this book explores what the same technology might do to us.

Combining dynamic stories, cutting-edge research, and deep reflection on the role of space in our lives, Digital Proxemics: How Technology Shapes the Ways We Move examines the ways that our uses of physical and digital spaces and our uses of technology are converging. It investigates the role of digital communication in proxemics, offering explorations of the ways digital technology shapes our personal bodily movement, our interpersonal negotiation of social space, and our navigation of public spaces and places. Through the lens of information and user-experience design, it adds forbidden spaces, ubicomp, augmented reality, digital surveillance, and virtual reality to the growing lexicon surrounding proxemics. The result is a spatial turn in the study of digital technology and a digital turn in the study of proxemics.

As our culture changes, our ability to make choices about how to move will be called into question, as will our expectations for what roles technology will play in our lives. As we navigate this intersection, Digital Proxemics is at once a valuable lens through which we can view our shifting culture, a cautionary tale through which we might envision problematic outcomes, and an optimistic projection of possibility for the future of human communication and technology interaction.

John A. McArthur (Ph.D., Clemson University) is Associate Professor in the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. He is a researcher, author, and speaker on the role of space, technology, and user-experience in human communication.

Digital Proxemics: How Technology Shapes the Ways We Move appears in the Digital Formations series, edited by New Media & Society journal editor Steve Jones, and published by Peter Lang Publishers.

Buy your copy of Digital Proxemics here on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.

Press, Review, or Desk Copies can be obtained here through the publisher.