NY Times Executive Editor Bill Keller Takes a Swipe at Social Media!

Dear Commons Connumity,

NY Times executive editor Bill Keller took a swipe at social media sites like Twitter and Facebook when he opened an opinion piece with:

“Last week my wife and I told our 13-year-old daughter she could join Facebook. Within a few hours she had accumulated 171 friends, and I felt a little as if I had passed my child a pipe of crystal meth.”

He goes on to question the benefits of quick, instantaneous access to others and information.  Citing  a number of social critics, scholars, and writers,  he concludes:

“There is a growing library of credible digital Cassandras who have explored what new media are doing to our brains (Nicholas Carr, Jaron Lanier, Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan, William Powers, et al.). My own anxiety is less about the cerebrum than about the soul, and is best summed up not by a neuroscientist but by a novelist. In Meg Wolitzer’s charming new tale, “The Uncoupling,” there is a wistful passage about the high-school cohort my daughter is about to join.”

Wolitzer describes them this way: “The generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.”


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