…a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes and a lack of patience and deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as “fast-twitch wiring.”

Imagining the Internet, a 2012 report from Elon University and the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

a kind-of abstract of the relevant attention section

Teens-to-20s to benefit and suffer due to ‘always-on’ lives. From their amazing ability to juggle many tasks to their thirst for instant gratification, survey reveals experts’ hopes and fears

Lots of predictions, little empirical evidence. Fuels the flames more than delivers the research. A survey of the thinkers in this field and their feelings about where it’s all headed.

But no empirical work to back it up.

Written for impact, rather than for balanced argument.

Rather than conflicting with people’s community ties, we find that the internet fits seamlessly with in-person and phone encounters. With the help of the internet, people are able to maintain active contact with sizable social networks, even though many of the people in those networks do not live nearby. Moreover, there is media multiplexity: The more that people see each other in person and talk on the phone, the more they use the internet. The connectedness that the internet and other media foster within social networks has real payoffs: People use the internet to seek out others in their networks of contacts when they need help

Rainie, L., Horrigan, J., Wellman, B. & Boase, J. (2006, Jan 25). The Strength of Internet Ties, Pew Internet & American Life Project.

A large-scale study of the effects of the web on social capital and relationships between Americans. Published in 2006, it focusses less on social networks like Facebook and more on tech like email.

Positive in general. “Part of everyday life”. Useful in putting social networks in motion when people “need help with important issues in their lives” because people have more active ties with a broader range of people than offline.

Summary of the findings:

Technology is enabling new forms of family connectedness that revolve around remote cell phone interactions and communal internet experiences.

Networked Families, a report from October 2008 for Pew Internet & American Life Project by Barry Wellman, Aaron Smith, Amy Wells & Tracy Kennedy.

Respondents say family life feels closer than when they grew up because tech allows for connectedness without physical presence, “hey! look at this!” moments and less TV watching.

But there’re fewer shared meals and less satisfaction with leisure time.