I both agree and disagree with this article. I agree that there's a problem with the current tendency to sub in virtuality for actual experience, especially with the non-human world. (I found my recent trip to the Museum of Science and Industry to be problematic in this regard, as the vast majority of interactive exhibits that weren't over ten years old were all virtual representations, with touch screens taking the place of tangible objects.)
On the other hand, living in the city as I am, there is a lot of daily sensory information to process, and a significant portion of it isn't very pleasant. Given that environment, I'm not at all surprised to see people using technology to filter or block this jangling cacophony of stimulae; if you're going to spend your day surrounded by human-caused noise, why not plug in the headset and listen to pleasant human-caused noise of your own choosing?
So for me the problem is less that people are shutting out "the real world" in favor of a virtual one, but rather that the world we have created for ourselves is not one that enriches and rewards interaction in the way an environment in which non-human organisms dominate does. Yes, there are the people who will try to process the Grand Canyon through iPhone apps, or who shut out the sound of forests with artificial input, but they learned those skills in tuning out in urban environments; fix the environments in which we spend the majority of our time, and people will be less interested in avoiding them. If the problem is that people don't know how to interact with a forest, then the solution isn't to deprive them of the tools they need to survive interaction with a city; the solution is to make cities more like forests.