Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. We may think modern tech pioneers invented the social network, but really, the concept goes back to the ancient Greeks.

In classical Athens’ Agora, citizens exchanged ideas with figures as iconic as Socrates, Phidias, Herodotus, and Hippocrates. (Socrates’ social network exceeded the average Facebook user’s friend list!) And at symposia, the Greeks debated concepts as wide-ranging as utopian societies, revolutionary artforms, and ideal states of love.

We may have made some improvements to ancient Greek models of idea sharing. But do the social networks of today propel progress — or are they corroding our ability to communicate with each other?

Video courtesy of The National Hellenic Society.