Salon linked me to an article in the Atlantic Montly called "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" The author purports that the ability to absorb information with the click of a mouse has seriously damaged our attention spans. Billout claims that he can barely get through a print or online article without beginning to skim by the 3rd paragraph. His article is four pages long. I stopped reading after the 5th paragraph.
Billout has a point. The most popular sites on the web are gossip blogs and news sources that keep their stories succinct and stray from prosaics. I find myself even skimming Perez Hilton. My ability to read a book has seriously dwindled. I used to be an avid reader, but now I get bored after 10 minutes of burying my nose in a book. I find myself obsessively clicking back and forth between Facebook, Gawker and my e-mail, even though I know there will be no updates, but the newfound need for constant online motion overrides the logical.
So here's a question: Which came first - short attention spans or the overprescription of ADHD medication, and is the internet partly to blame?