ChatGPT, Social Media and Our Souls with L.M. Sacasas


Most of us probably don’t stop to reflect on our use of technology and how the devices and apps we use affect our lives and society as a whole. What is it doing to our brains and our souls that we reach for our smartphones mindlessly hundreds of times a day? What do we say on social media that I wouldn’t say in real life, and how does our behavior online make the world better — or, more likely, worse?

Today’s guest, L.M. Sacasas, is an incredible thinker and writer who has devoted his career to asking big questions of our technology and what it’s doing to our communal life and individual lives. Sacasas has a great Substack newsletter called “The Convivial Society” that is host Mike Jordan Laskey’s favorite thing to read these days. Sacasas has this amazing ability to read and absorb scholars from the past like Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, Hannah Arendt and the Jesuit literary theorist Walter Ong and apply their arguments to our very different media environment today.

In this conversation, Sacasas shares his thoughts on AI chat-bots like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s new Bing and Google Bard. He and Mike also talk about social media and smartphones and artificial light and time and what countercultural roles faith communities might play in offering venues for incarnational, authentic community.

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Contributed by:

Mike Jordan Laskey is the director of communications at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. He leads a team responsible for the website, social media and vocation promotion.