Obama: Twitter is 'putting pressure on democracy'

Life ain't tweet for Obama
Life ain't tweet for Obama

US President Barack Obama has warned of technology overload, blaming iPads, Xboxes and Twitter as things that distract rather than empower.

Speaking recently to students at Hampton University in Virginia, Obama cited games consoles and social networks as part of a 24/7 media environment which is becoming a burden for the youth of today.

In his speech he explained: "With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations – none of which I know how to work – information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation."

New pressures

He also noted that social media, including the likes of Twitter, meant that "some of the craziest claims can quickly claim traction.

"All of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy."

Obama was quick to note that going against the changing technological landscape wasn't the solution but educating people to live within it was: "We can't stop these changes. But we can adapt to them. And education is what can allow us to do so. It can fortify you, as it did earlier generations, to meet the tests of your own time."

Obama may admit to being a luddite when it comes to games consoles and the iPad, but he is an avid BlackBerry user.

He did mention back in November, though, that he has never used Twitter but did stick up for the site saying he was "an advocate of technology and not restricting internet access," when speaking about China blocking social networks.

Via Channel Four and New York Post

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.