Inherent in any media technology – from the telephone to TV to Twitter – is an emphasis of some ways of thinking and a de-emphasis on other ways of thinking. If you look at the Internet, what it emphasizes is the ability to supply lots of information, in many forms, very quickly. As a result, it encourages us to browse through information in a similar way – by grabbing lots of bits of data simultaneously. What it doesn’t encourage us to engage in is more attentive ways of thinking – the mode of thinking that underpins deep reading, contemplation, reflection and introspection. All of these ways of using our minds – which to me, are very important are de-emphasized by the Internet, and as a result, we’re not practicing them as much anymore. I worry that as a society, we are in danger of losing them.
Nicholas Carr, from an interview with Karen Christensen