Is the digital world teaching us bad reading habits?
In a nutshell, when you read online, you do a lot of skimming for content, looking for keywords or core ideas, and passing over details (unless you're really interested). That's a style that doesn't work with some of the greats in literature: they often use complex syntax with all kinds of subclauses and periodically go on tangents.
I find it interesting that the woman interviewed for the article, Claire Handscombe, confessed to having such problems focusing on reading. (Also, trouble focusing on The Glass Bead Game? In my experience Herman Hesse is a lot more accessible than other literary giants. Girl, you may want to reconsider that MFA in creative writing if this is the case.) In my experience, it's been easy for me to shift from "Internet reading" to "book reading"; this may be due to the fact that I rarely skim, even online. Sure I skip over some articles in my RSS feed (who doesn't?), but I typically decide by the first paragraph if I'm going to skip the whole thing or not, then give everything else my full attention. Until I hit the next article I don't feel like reading, anyway.
It's no surprise to me, though, that comprehension is demonstrably better when you're reading a dead tree version than when you're reading an ebook version. I don't think that tactile sensation of holding a book, touching a page, or even the smell of the ink is just book fetishizing; I think it helps us immerse ourselves in the reading experience and therefore read better.
Do you think the Internet and social media has changed the way you read?