Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fretting About Twitter

"Social networking under fresh attack as tide of cyber-scepticism sweeps US"
Paul Harris in New York, guardian.co.uk/The Observer (Saturday 22 January 2011)

"Twitter and Facebook don't connect people – they isolate them from reality, say a rising number of academics.

"The way in which people frantically communicate online via Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging can be seen as a form of modern madness, according to a leading American sociologist.

" 'A behaviour that has become typical may still express the problems that once caused us to see it as pathological,' MIT professor Sherry Turkle writes in her new book, Alone Together, which is leading an attack on the information age.

"The way in which people frantically communicate online via Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging can be seen as a form of modern madness, according to a leading American sociologist...."

The Lemming might take the notion that Twitter and Facebook make 'those kids' crazy a little more seriously: If the Lemming hadn't heard it before.

There was a time when television was - we were told - destroying the minds of America's youth. And serious folks were worried that the telephone was bad for the soul. The Lemming sympathizes, a little, with folks with that sort of worry. Change can hurt. But change happens: and it's best, in the Lemming's opinion, to deal with it. Not fret.

The Lemming is - in a sense - 'apathetic.' Back in the '60s and '70s, "cultural pressure to care - deeply, passionately, hysterically" about the right (or left) things didn't take. To this day, the Lemming does not think that telephones make teenagers anti-social, or that MP3 technology will bring Western civilization to its knees.

Maybe the Lemming really is 'apathetic:' or maybe new technologies aren't as dangerous as slow adapters feel they are.

There are other reasons for fearing the Internet, but the Lemming's already written about that - earlier today.

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4 comments:

Brigid said...

Been there: "If the Lemming hadn't been heard it before."

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Candle Holder said...

I think there is something to this subject but, I agree that this panic resembles the past involving television. "The Dumbest Generation" is a great read that tackles some of these issues.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

Thanks: Got it.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Candle Holder,

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am of the opinion that some folks get obsessive about Twitter and other online communities.

I've also seen folks get overly caught up - in my opinion, in following sports news, keeping a tidy lawn, and playing Bingo.

I'm pretty sure there's a reason for such tightly-focused interest. But I'm also pretty sure that sports news, lawn care products, and Bingo aren't psychologically harmful. Not by themselves.

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