Twitter, Facebook “modern madness?”

SOCIAL networking sites like Twitter and Facebook could be downright antisocial, threatening to dominate our lives and making us less human, a researcher says. Prof Sherry Turkle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US has even branded the use of such sites as a form of modern madness. She argues that under the illusion of allowing us to communicate better, technology is isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is a poor imitation of the real world.

Prof Turkle is leading an attack on the information age with her book Alone Together, reports Daily Mail. The professor even suggests social networking can make us mad, citing "pathological behaviour" she has witnessed, such as mourners at funerals checking their iPhones, according to an MIT statement.

Her book is part of an intellectual backlash in the US calling for the people to devote less time to sites like Twitter. For instance, Prof William Kist of Kent State University in Ohio has cited the death of Simone Back in Brighton, who posted her suicide note on Facebook on Christmas.

Not one of the 42-year-olds 1,058 "friends" on the site called for help. Instead, they traded insults on her page. However, defenders of Twitter and Facebook claim the social media has many benefits and has, for example, led to more communication for people who are separated by long distances. — IANS