I feel like in 2018 I see more centered blurbs and paragraphs on the web. Centered text is a real problem for me because I can't read it. It makes my eyes spaz and my head avert. Am I the only one with this issue? Is there a way to overcome it? Is centering a fad? Is there a UX benefit that outweighs readability?
There is no doubt that left aligned should be the only way texts should be presented. You are not alone.
Not being able to find the beginning of the next line can be frustrating. From the accessibility point of view, center aligned text is terrible since people with little reading disabilities won't be able to read it at all.
Even justified text, on online pages, can be hard to read for many people: WCAG20/Aligning text on only one side
I don't think that center aligned text is something recent: it has always been used in web design, mostly because, at a glance, it could be more visually appealing.
Some circumstances may allow center or right text alignments, but these should be treated as the exception, rather than the rule.
Center-aligned headings may be appropriate, for example, or a right-aligned date on a document.
It is normal that it makes the readability worse. At least when you’re talking about multiple lines of centred text.
The main reason to center text is aesthetics. It simply can make the overal picture look balanced. But when you start focussing on what it says instead of how it looks, the problem that you describe is one everyone is facing, but it can be a bigger problem to some than to others.
Things you can do: When possible, use a finger to follow the text while you’re reading.
Things designers should do: Align left for multi line text. It makes reading easier, and that’s what you hopefully trying to achieve. And it’s not that difficult to keep balance and aligning text to the left, believe me.