Has the Internet made us less attentive readers?
In this month’s Atlantic, Nicholas Carr admits he now has trouble reading books and longer magazine articles thanks, he speculates, to the Internet’s way of turning us into superficial information grazers.
In Slate, Michael Agger describes some studies that show how lazy our brains are online: they prefer short sentences, explanatory headlines, and bulleted lists, and they skip large chunks of text.
Personally, I still have plenty of patience for reading books and magazine articles, but only when I’m offline, and only when I’m not anxious about some other time commitment. Online, however, I’m exactly like the rest of us, erratic, impatient, unable to concentrate on (too) much at one time
I don’t know. When I need to do any sort of sustained writing or thinking, I try to close my Internet browser, though it isn’t always easy. Other times surfing the web is like keeping my eyes occupied while my mind searches for the right word or concept sometimes I find that it helps, and other times I’m probably just kidding myself.
What do you think?