Neil Mackay, who edits the Glasgow-based Sunday Herald, described the online platforms as “everything that is wrong with the world” in an interview marking 18 years since the paper was founded.
Neil, pictured left, made the comments in a piece for hyperlocal website Glasgowist.
During his interview, he was asked about whether he found social media a useful way to communicate with readers.
Neil responded: “No. I find social media detestable. Of course I use it because I have to use it, not just for this job, but I write books and I make films and I do radio.
“I’ve got an intellectual product to sell. I don’t like that word product, but it is. It’s something I’ve created. I’ve made it. I want people to read it and enjoy it.
“Social media is everything that is wrong with the world, and I wish we could turn it off. I think it is de-intellectualised us. I think it has robbed us of introspection, which is the most important thing a human being can have.
“The best ideas I get are when I’m staring out a train window. Who stares out train windows anymore? They’re just swiping and swiping.”
To back up his point, Neil cited a Sunday Herald front page after the Paris terror attacks with a ‘France at War’ headline, which was a direct quote from French president Francois Hollande.
As a result of publishing the headline, Neil said the Herald received a wave of messages on Twitter claiming that it was advocating war.
The 18th anniversary edition of the Herald will be printed next weekend, themed around the number 18 – showcasing 18 of its front pages, charting 18 years that changed Scotland, looking back on what life was like in February 1999 when it launched and looking at the phenomenon of what being 18 means.
On the anniversary, Neil told HTFP: “My overarching feeling is one of great pleasure – when we launched, people said we wouldn’t last a month. Now we are officially grown up. Like all journalists, I love to prove people wrong.”