Our attention span is now less than that of a goldfish, and it’s all down to technology.
In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds. That’s now fallen to eight seconds, while a goldfish is believed to be able to maintain an attention span of nine seconds.
Microsoft managed to find this by carrying out a survey with 2,000 people and monitoring the brain activity of 112 people by using electroencephalograms (EEGs). The study hoped to determine the impact of mobile technology and the increased availability of digital media on our lives.
"Canadians [who were tested] with more digital lifestyles (those who consume more media, are multi-screeners, social media enthusiasts, or earlier adopters of technology) struggle to focus in environments where prolonged attention is needed," the study reads.
It’s not all bad news though. The 54-page document, if you’re able to power through it, reveals that we’re better able to multi-task. Also, those who adopt technology early and heavy social media users are able to better identify what they want or don’t want to engage with. They are capable of frontloading their attention and “have more intermittent bursts of high attention.”
Did you even make it this far in one go? We understand if you didn’t. We checked our phones, flicked through tabs, and pondered the best way to get home between writing paragraphs…