One of the interesting ways that the world wide web has affected Ameriacn culture is the way that it encourages faster and more ephemeral trends. The popularity of something through youtube or some other social media network can be incredibly fast to arise and just as quick to disappear. Add in twitter and facebook and other ways that trends can spread quickly across the country and the speed with which things can become popular and forgotten is astonishing.
One positive is certainly the greater accessibility of things like scholarly papers and articles and the ease with which almost anyone can do research online, given the appropriate access to databases.
A disadvantage is that the very same opportunity has encouraged more plagiairism and more willingness to simply gloss over information rather than trying to absorb it and then discuss it in a thoughtful manner.