Mary Chayko


Distinguished Teaching Professor of Communication and Information and Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty Fellow in Residence for the Honors College at Rutgers University


DeWitt 301

Mary Chayko is a sociologist of communication technology. She directs the Digital Communication, Information, and Media (DCIM) and Gender and Media minors at SC&I. She is a Faculty Fellow in Residence at the Rutgers-New Brunswick Honors College, a member of the Social Media and Society Cluster at SC&I, and is the author of several books on the impact of digital technology on society, community, and self. Chayko is also affiliate faculty for the SC&I Ph.D. program, the Rutgers Sociology Department, and the Rutgers Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department.


Rutgers University
Ph.D., Sociology

Rutgers University
M.A., Sociology

Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education
Ed.M., Counseling Psychology

Seton Hall University
B.A., Communication and Psychology


Mary Chayko is interested in the impact of media and technology on society and humanity. Her current projects seek to understand and explain how social bonds and communities are formed, experienced, and given meaning in the absence of face-to-face contact generally, and through online and mobile technology use in particular. She also studies the consequences of connecting in these ways for individuals, their relationships, and their societies. 

In earlier work, Chayko researched patterns of television use and how they vary by age, the formation of primary groups and primary group ties in mass media use, the ways that virtual reality has influenced our ability to determine what is “really” real, and the intersection of science and culture. Her current and future work remains the exploration and explanation of social connectedness in the modern technological age.

Centers, Labs, Working Groups, and Clusters

Selected Publications

"In Sync, But Apart: Temporal Symmetry and Digital Connectedness." 2018. Network, Hacking, and Media: Emerald Studies in Media and Communication. 17:63-72

Chayko, Mary. Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media and Techno-Social Life, Second Edition. 2018. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Chayko, Mary. Portable Communities: The Social Dynamics of Online and Mobile Connectedness. 2008. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press

Chayko, Mary. Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age. 2002. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press

Chayko, Mary. "Techno‐social Life: The Internet, Digital Technology, and Social Connectedness." Sociology Compass 8.7 (2014): 976-991.

Awards & Recognitions

Rutgers University Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2019

Rutgers University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Contributors to Undergraduate Education, 1994

Book of the Year runner-up, Association for Humanist Sociology, "Portable Communities: The Social Dynamics of Online and Mobile Connectedness," 2009

Best Paper, ASIS&T (Association for Information Science and Technology – Social Informatics), “Techno-Social Life: The Internet, Digital Technology and Social Connectedness,” Sociology Compass, 2015

Best Paper, New Jersey Communication Association 2016 Conference (Graduate – Team, with M. Boyraz, M. Dwyer, C. Goldthwaite, K. Kang, and S. Sahay), "How do changes in the contemporary workplace environment impact college education? Case study of hybrid teaching/learning in Digital Communication, Information, and Media Minor,"2016

Additional Resources

Research Keywords