Skip to content
Surprising Science

Is Twitter Stealing Our Souls?

Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, on Twitter: "The things we may be unlearning, tweet by tweet—complexity, acuity, patience, wisdom, intimacy—are things that matter."

What’s the Latest Development?

Executive editor of the New York Times, Biller Keller felt like he had handed his daughter a pipe of crystal meth after allowing her to create a Facebook profile. While Keller claims his professional ambitions preclude him from being a Luddite, he comes out against social media because of its influence on how we think. Just as humanity lost is ability to memorize long texts after the printing press was invented, Keller says the media of our day are likewise robbing us of worthwhile skill. With technology playing an increasingly dominant role in our lives, Keller reminds us that: “…the cognitive advance of our species is not inexorable.”

What’s the Big Idea?

The relationship between humans and our technology is changing. Currently, digital devices and powerful software extend the capability of our brains, allowing us to complete complex calculations in an instant and putting the world’s cumulative knowledge at our fingertips. When will the singularity occur? When will man and machine physically merge? In the next fifty years, says Joshua Foer, whose book Moonwalking with Einstein recalls how sometimes humanity trades in valuable abilities for the sake of progress. 


Up Next