The Web Shatters Focus

Nicholas Carr for Wired:

The Internet is an interruption system. It seizes our attention only to scramble it. There’s the problem of hypertext and the many different kinds of media coming at us simultaneously. There’s also the fact that numerous studies-including one that tracked eye movement, one that surveyed people, and even one that examined the habits displayed by users of two academic databases-show that we start to read faster and less thoroughly as soon as we go online.

Rings very true - I feel a bit lost when my RSS, twitter, and email feeds are all clear. Distract me, quick, the real world is out there, and I haven’t got time to focus.

Interesting to note that the article is a strong vote for the combination of longform.org & Instapaper. Longform celebrates the art of in depth writing, and Instapaper strips the distractions.