William PowersBucknell University selected Hamlet's BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers as the first-year common reading for the Class of 2017. New students will discuss the book with each other, faculty members and staff at New Student Orientation.

While constant connectivity has become a normal way of life, the Class of 2017 has been asked to reflect on how their digital lives affect and interact with their actual lives. In what ways do we benefit from technology, and in what ways does it have negative consequences?

All first-year students are required to write and submit an essay in response to Hamlet's Blackberry. Click here to view the instructions.

About the book

"A soulful polemic that challenges the sacred dogma of the digital age--that the more we connect with others, the happier we are--arguing that as our electronic connectedness grows, we are pulled away from the relationships and experiences that give life texture, depth, and meaning". -- from the publisher, NewYork: Harper

Widely praised for its insights on the digital future, the book grew out of research Powers did as a fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center. It has been selected as the Common Read at a number of U.S. colleges and universities, and translated into many foreign languages.

About the author

William Powers was born in Arizona and grew up in Rhode Island. He graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude with a degree in U. S. history and literature, and did graduate study in Spain as a Rotary International Scholar. He began his career as a U.S. Senate staff member working on foreign relations, intelligence and military affairs.

He then joined The Washington Post, working initially for Bob Woodward in the investigative unit. He did reporting and research for The Commanders, Woodward's international bestseller about the first Gulf War.

Powers has been a speaker at such high-profile venues as South By Southwest, the Aspen Festival of Ideas, Google and Facebook. Reporting on one of his dynamic presentations, The New York Times called him an "apostle" of the next wave of digital thinking.

Powers is a two-time winner of the National Press Club's Rowse Award for best American media commentary. He has been a resident fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and studied the technology culture of Japan on a fellowship from the Japan Society.

He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, author Martha Sherrill, and their son.

Excerpted from williampowers.com