Gary Small and colleagues at UCLA have found that surfing the web may actually be good for your brain:
Each volunteer underwent a brain scan while performing web searches and book-reading tasks.
Both types of task produced evidence of significant activity in regions of the brain controlling language, reading, memory and visual abilities.
However, the web search task produced significant additional activity in separate areas of the brain which control decision-making and complex reasoning - but only in those who were experienced web users.
This is your brian on lolcats.
also, just because it increases neural activity doesn't equate with good for you - the increased stress, over prolonged periods, repeated daily, could ultimately lead to anxiety, undue concern with irrelevant issues and objects, and ultimately enhance ADD symptoms by creating a 'need' for more info... just because the brain is more 'calm' during a read doesn't mean that a reader is worse off for it - in fact, more relaxed, more thoroughly engaged... it's apples and oranges, and drawing conclusions from these findings is pseudoscience.
I truly beleive that I have gotten less intellectually sharp in the last few years, and not more, as a result of web habits. It's funny that the web increases the opportunity for communication, but the form of communication is far less efficient - any time I have tried to discuss anything online (like the ideas behind something abstract that lead to me having a different opinion than you) I end up NOT finding common ground. when you are face to face, it's easier to accept a different opinion. Online, you just hit send and set of on your continued ego trip thru the cybersphere - I ain't no luddite, but this isn't a better way. just watch to see who blasts me for these comments as proof!