Last month, Bill Keller, executive editor of the NY TIMES, published an opinion piece about social media. His article, "The Twitter Trap," taking the long view, also traced some steps in the history of communication.
"Until the 15th century, people were taught to remember vast quantities of information." Some even memorized whole books. Then with the invention of the printing press, Gutenberg changed the world. People no longer had to memorize, they could depend on reading the printed page and refreshing their memory by rereading. Did books create a decline in studious memorization?
Fast forward to . . .
Facebook and Twitter. Keller argues they do have promotional uses, but they are also "displacing real rapport and real conversation, just as Gutenberg's device displaced remembering." Do you agree?
I've often wondered if Facebook promotes quantity friendship, rather than quality friendship. If so, what effect does this have on the millions of users?
Keller writes that Twitter conversation is "more often than not, reductive and redundant." True? Does it contribute to a decline in complex, thoughtful conversation?
Some consider both Facebook and Twitter essential to a writer's career.
Do you use either one? If so, is it a thumbs up experience? Do you agree with any of the thumbs down thoughts?