Why social media doesn’t create intelligence


Those kind and wonderful people at Change This have just released a new batch of free, downloadable manifestos. These articles range in subject matter from resisting organisational sabotage, to making personal sacrifices, to something called ‘the future you’.

The article that practically jumped out and grabbed me by the neck is called Why Social Media Doesn’t Create Intelligence by Jeremie Kubicek. It’s as if they already knew what I’ve been saying recently.

Because they practise the art of generosity that they preach, you can download it on the link above, or, if you prefer to follow your nose to the myriad other articles they have published, you can find it at Change This here.

If you don’t believe me, there is actual science to back up what I am saying. Try this article, from earlier this year in the Observer. In case you are missing the point it’s called Why the Modern World is Bad For Your Brain.

Personally speaking, I realised I was in trouble because it took me an aeon to concentrate enough to finish it, partly because I was more keen on tweeting it than absorbing what it had to say.

I would say ‘I rest my case’. I’d love to know what you think.




  1. Yes. It makes a lot of sense. I feel smug, though, because i have never been on Facebook, I don’t have a smart phone, and my iPad – on which I generally follow Twitter – lives in the bedroom during the day.
    The most serious aspect about this issue for me is the way a lot of parents pay more attention to their phones than they do to their young children. I see mothers (particularly) wheeling toddlers along the street in their buggies,and instead of engaging with their children they are immersed in phone activity of one sort or another. It’s no wonder that an increasing number of children start early education unable to have a conversation. And it’s tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anthony, you seriously distracted me in the middle of writing an educational pack for which the focus was social media. However, in this case, the distraction was marvellously relevant. I managed to ignore Change’s last update, but not your alert to the article by Kubicek, which I needed to read. And the Guardian article is so good, I’ve ordered his book in paperback AND his book on how the brain responds to music on Kindle. Bloody hell, Anthony! I still haven’t started the actual job I’m meant to be doing AND I haven’t managed to follow Maitreyabhandu’s advice yesterday on practising doing nothing. I really want to do more of nothing. I’m going back to work now, and aiming to do nothing later. But it probably won’t happen. I haven’t even finished dealing with my emails yet (true). 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes. Sorry about that Nell. Normal boring service is quickly going to be resumed. Where was Maitreyabhandu’s advice?
      I never finish my emails. ‘Life is never completed’ -Kaplinski XX A


  3. Anthony, you and the others are right about social media. Here in the states we are struggling with a presidential election coming up, and the campaigns have been hijacked by social media. Social media is making decisions that we’ll have to live with for at least four years and the leading candidate is a twittering fool. Facebook, which began as a way for college kids to meet each other, has become the province of the inane, the gossips and the mean-spirited of all ages. I’ve recently found that the first question when meeting someone is “Are you on Facebook?” I used to answer, “Sorry, no,” but now I simply say “No.” I’m no longer willing to apologize for this apparent lapse. I have a mailing address, an email address, a blog and a telephone. If that’s not enough for contact, I can be assured that the person asking the question is not interested in contact. Thanks so much for the information you included here.
    Molly in San Diego

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I fully agree on the focusing part, Anthony. I’m positive that I work more and better since I reduced my time on social media and my time online in general. I’ve returned to a more productive reading mode, too. Unfortunately if it is possible for people who have known the ‘before social media,’ it’s harder for younger generations to do so. Let’s say that I’m more worried for my teenage son than for me.
    Thank you for the articles and links. Real good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.