Anti-Social Networks?

An interesting piece which highlights the values of the humanities to question what social networks and other digital technologies are doing to us as human beings (and educators):

Or, perhaps more accurately, our iSelves. According to a spate of recent studies, narcissistic personality disorder is on the rise among American youth. Psychologists lay the blame of this and related “iDisorders” at the virtual feet of what one critic, Cory Doctorow, has called “an ecosystem of interruption technologies”. Facebook, Twitter and the like not only pull their users away from deep reading and reflection but also towards an excessive sense of entitlement and self-worth.

More worrisome, the academy’s mad rush towards massive open online courses, distance learning and other technology-driven innovations are, from this perspective, the disease for which they pretend to be the cure. Like the Sirens in the Odyssey, they lure with the promise of knowledge. Yet there are kinds of knowledge, as the Greeks understood, which are the fruit of conversation and dialogue. Moocs will bury, not build, a lasting foundation for knowledge; they will suffocate, not sanctify, the life of the mind.

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