The New York Times recently ran a story about the supposedly insidious effects of connectivity and “multitasking” on our brains and our relationships with one another. They asked me to participate in a “Room for Debate” feature on the article:
When a new technology enters the social scene, hand-wringing about its social effects is never far behind. So I was not surprised to see Matt Richtel offer the latest contribution to this shopworn genre. The trends he describes are not nearly as novel — or as alarming — as he and the experts he interviews seem to think.
The article quotes Stanford’s Clifford Nass, who warns that excessive use of digital technologies will “diminish empathy by limiting how much people engage with one another.” That may be true for some people, but for most people the reality is just the opposite: the Internet broadens and strengthens our social ties and greatly enhances our ability to engage with one another.
Read the rest here.