Study Finds Goldfish have a Longer Attention Span than Modern Humans
I Dare You…
I dare you to read this entire article without checking another tab, your phone, or looking out your window at that curiously active squirrel. This post is about five hundred words. For an accomplished reader in fifth grade this should take only a few minutes to look over. When was the last time you focused solely on one thing for a minute or two?
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I will keep this short for obvious reasons. I will also resist the urge to insert the mid- sentence pretend distraction that drives home the point that even the author of the piece is victim to the brevity of modern attention spans. In May, a study by Microsoft Corp confirmed what many already knew to be true. That since the onset of the mobile revolution the average attention span has dwindled from an already concerning 12-second window, down to an outright startling 8-second frame. 8-seconds to hold a thought; to truly ponder its significance; to examine its meaning and value; before you are on to the next shiny object or whatever else captures your attention.
Yes it is true; a goldfish now holds its attention longer than you do.
The notoriously unproductive goldfish attention span averages a gaudy 9 seconds. That is a whole second more than your average American’s in 2015. So the next time you have a staring contest with your pet fish, remember it can focus on you longer than you might focus on it.
Is this the beginning of the end?
When this news story broke in May, most of the press covered it with a doom and gloom attitude, siting the importance of expanded attention to perform complicated tasks. I propose this is simply the human brain adapting to the demands of modern life. There is a reason that contemporary humans are unable to hold their attention for long; it’s because there is so much more to do. Between social demands across all the different networks and platforms on which we communicate, work responsibilities which rely on the integration of technology with nearly all tasks, along with the endless array of entertainment options, there is a lot to be done. Those who are able to switch from one thought to the next within 8-seconds without compromising their critical thinking can accomplish far more than their peers and goldfish counterparts.It is not a matter of thoughtfulness, rather the speed at which thoughtfulness can take place. Those who can balance an 8-second attention span with thoughtfulness are truly pushing their brains to the brink of what is possible for a person to accomplish in any 24-hour period. We are becoming better.
|Get it here There’s an app for that|
With all this temporarily in mind, there is a new app, JustLOL, that has been designed to oblige the fast thinking 8-second attention-span’ed modern man/woman. The IOS app created by Unreel Entertainment (yes, a shameless plug) highlights the best parts in the Internet’s funniest videos. This means with JustLOL you have the option to watch only the meat of the video worthy of your 8-seconds. Once that precious time is up and you are ready for the next attention-grabbing stimulus, JustLOL has jumped you to the next scene with the action worth watching.