BPS Research Digest discusses an essay by Nicholas Carr. Here is the central point:
Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

I think I know what’s going on. For more than a decade now, I’ve been spending a lot of time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet.
In other words, he argues that using the Internet a lot makes you fidgety and reduces your ability to concentrate. My introspection says that's true in a way, but not in the way that Mr. Carr says. I have been using the Internet quite a bit for years and I have no problem whatsoever finishing an 800-page novel if it's interesting. In my experience, the ability to enjoy long texts is highly context-dependent. If a blogpost exceeds a certain length, I tend to get impatient - presumably because I expected it to be shorter - but for a novel, 800 pages are quite o.k.

What gets on my nerves is that with paper texts, you can't use CTRL+F. When I first had that thought, it reminded me of a sensation I had shortly after I had bought my first VCR. I was in some situation - don't remember what it was exactly - and thought: "Fast forward, fast forward!"

Mr. Carr also thinks that the trend he observes is leading to texts being shorter. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, as his essay clearly shows.

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