“The discovery of the [this new technology] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves . . . You give your disciplines not truth but only the semblance of truth; they will be heroes of many things, and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing.”
The new technology here? The alphabet. The speaker of gloom and doom about the ignorance of youth, none other than Socrates, complaining about his know-nothing alphabet-crazed students in “Phaedrus.”
Fortunately, one of those students happened to be Plato. He wrote down his mentor's words. Otherwise we would not know about this stupid younger generation.
Think about it next time you are inclined to think "kids today" are ignorant and their iPhones or iPods or video games make it so.
(btw, this quote is key to Marshall McLuhan's famous 1967 multimedia classic The Medium is the Massage. There the big medium everyone was worried about was television.)