An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Video: What Social Media Has Done to Us and What We Can Do About It

  • Julie Fox
  • Slice of MIT

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After smartphones and social media came along, a transformation occurred that “made these services an order of magnitude more sticky than they were before,” says Calvin Newport SM ’06, PhD ’09, professor of computer science at Georgetown University.

“We didn’t even notice it happen. But as a result, we got trained to look at our phones all the time,” Newport explains in this recording of a recent MIT Alumni Association Faculty Forum Online webinar.

In this talk, Newport addresses why many people have become progressively more uneasy about technology’s effects on their lives, and suggests what we should do about it. These are central points in his 2019 book, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, a New York Times bestseller and an Amazon Best Books of 2019 selection.

The webinar was moderated by Aviva Hope Rutkin SM ’13, data editor at the Conversation US, and included a Q&A with alumni viewers.

Watch more archived Faculty Forum Online webinars, and register for upcoming MIT Alumni Association virtual programming.

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