New York Times executive editor Bill Keller has written yet another piece decrying the swiftly changing media landscape. This time, it’s Twitter that is the latest hallmark of our downfall. Writes Keller:
Basically, we are outsourcing our brains to the cloud. The upside is that this frees a lot of gray matter for important pursuits like FarmVille and “Real Housewives.” But my inner worrywart wonders whether the new technologies overtaking us may be eroding characteristics that are essentially human: our ability to reflect, our pursuit of meaning, genuine empathy, a sense of community connected by something deeper than snark or political affinity … Twitter is not just an ambient presence. It demands attention and response. It is the enemy of contemplation.
Of course, that Keller finds Twitter a drain on our collective intelligence comes as a surprise to no one. But you know what else comes as a surprise to no one? New media’s reaction to what a Luddite the self-proclaimed non-Luddite Keller is.
Henry Blodget, founder of Business Insider, writes in a piece called “SURPRISE SURPRISE: New York Times Editor Thinks Twitter And Facebook Are Making Us Stupid”:
But it’s no surprise–and, in fact, it’s annoyingly predictable–that the editor of the New York Times sees mainly the negatives in the Twitter revolution. Because the New York Times, and the editor of the New York Times, would obviously be better off if everything just stayed the same.
Couldn’t the same argument be made, to an extent, for Business Insider’s defense of Twitter and the changing industry?
Xeni Jardin writes in a piece for Boing Boing called NYT editor Bill Keller on “The Twitter Trap” (tl;dr: “Get Off My Lawn”):
Was this man not on BBSes back in the 1980s? Concise bickering is not a proprietary feature of Twitter. Anyway, lord have mercy, don’t let him find 4Chan.
Finally, Gawker’s Adrian Chen tweeted: