We have seen a rash of essays and articles in the mainstream press recently that take a somewhat scare-mongering tone toward social networks and digital communication of various kinds: a piece in the Atlantic raised the question of whether Facebook is making us lonely, and a New York Times op-ed by MIT professor Sherry Turkle a few days ago argues that all the texting and social-media usage we’re engaging in is bad for us as a society, because it is preventing us from having “real” conversations and connecting with other human beings. But is this a real problem or just another example of how new technologies often get blamed for behavior that existed long before they were invented?
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