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Jonathan Franzen on social media, the Internet and smartphones

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Jonathan Franzen on social media, the Internet and smartphones

You gotta LISTEN to Jonathan Franzen on BBC World's Hard Talk

On social media:

"It's rewarding extremism and divisiveness. People find themselves in their own little echo chamber getting ever more extreme versions of what they already believe. It is not fostering complex discourse between opposing views on middle ground."

On smartphones:

"I would feel it somewhat of a failure, as a writer who has some a public stature, if I were not generating criticism. If I were not trying to call attention to things that no one else wants to talk about. And one of the things people don't want to talk about is how incredibly, compulsively addictive the stimulation by our devices is. When you simply mention that fact people, who are spending a lot of time and are more of less captive to their smartphones, they don't enjoy having that pointed out. They will react negatively. They will want to shoot the messenger. So be it. It doesn't mean that I shouldn't say how the world looks to me. I don't see people being happy about these devices in their lives, but they can't get away from them."

 

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