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Facebook and Twitter are turning my mind to mush

Facebook, Twitter, and other addictive websites and applications make it hard to read books or finish projects without dipping back into the hypnosis-inducing well of Internet stuff that somehow feels like important work but is basically stories about bears stealing cars.

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Facebook is turning my mind to mush and I don’t like it. The IQ drop is palpable, and it’s really beginning to get on my nerves.

I’m no Internet critic. Nor am I some dude who’s nostalgic for the romantic bygone era of steam engines and Fatty Arbuckle.

My dad’s a digital design engineer, and some of my earliest childhood memories involve making cardhouses out of computer punchcards. I had an Atari 2600. In high school, I co-ran a BBS, using a dedicated phone line. (If that term’s unfamiliar to you, Google it and be astounded by how cool I was.) I founded a daily online magazine in college (1999), and obtained my first post-college job at The Christian Science Monitor’s relatively new online division.

So I know the Internet fairly well, and I’m comfortable not merely with its conventions, but also with its roots.

But neither am I a lifelong computer and/or Internet advocate, because it’s always struck me as something that isn’t “good” or “bad” any more than books, or radio, or television are good or bad. The Web is a medium. It’s a powerful new medium, and it can be filled with wonderful, thought-provoking information and context – or videos of cats playing the piano poorly.

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