Social media's critics should wake up and smell the coffee

06/25/2013 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Social media is relatively new, but the fears and uncertainties it stirs are anything but novel, Tom Standage writes. The coffeehouses that sprang up in Europe in the 17th century fulfilled a similar social function as Facebook or Twitter, and were likewise dismissed as a waste of time by their contemporary critics. "[T]he lesson of the coffeehouse is that modern fears about the dangers of social networking are overdone," Standage writes.

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