Once upon a time, humans could read an entire chapter of a novel before going to sleep. Today, almost forcibly drip-fed an interminable diet of digital trivia, most people can barely manage a paragraph before their eyes wander over the smartphone glowing on the nightstand, that siren singing on the rocks disguised as a wi-fi enabled slab of microchips. Social media minutiae, apparently, is more diverting than whatever Charles Dickens could invent.
Eternal hand-wringers get agitated by such diminished attention spans, but technology has been altering our ability to focus since Stone Age man first started doing interesting things with flint. It would not surprise me, for example, to learn that prehistoric life so lacked distraction that neanderthal man could kill a bison simply with the power of his mind. Later, he realized that he'd suffer fewer migraines if he just hit the poor beast's skull with a stick instead, consequently losing his telepathic hunting skills as he came to rely more and more on his new-fangled "tools." And this was obviously neandertal man's downfall.
Would neanderthals still walk the Earth if they had kept developing their mental skills rather than selling their souls to technology? Perhaps. But I doubt that I would be friends with any of them on Facebook, and that's the important thing these days.