....or so researchers would have us believe.
According to a study of more than 2,000 people by Microsoft, it was discovered that our average attention span is 8 seconds, down significantly from previous research conducted in 2000 that found we have an attention span of 12 seconds.
Meanwhile, the average goldfish is believed to have a 9-second attention span.
The data was arrived at through surveys of participants as well as electroencephalograms (EEGs), which detect electrical activity in the brain.
According to Yahoo Health, our attention spans aren’t just down as a whole, we’re also having trouble focusing in general.
From the research, 44% of study participants said they have to concentrate really hard to stay focused on tasks, and 37% said they’re not able to make the best use of their time, which forces them to work late or on weekends.
No surprises with the rate of smart phone use with millennial, the study found that 77% of 18 to 24-year-olds reach for their phone when they’re bored, 52% check their phone every 30 minutes or less, and 79% use their phone while they’re watching TV.
According to Dr David Greenfield, founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, over time using the Internet and any portal that gives you instant information, we reprogram our brains to work this way, and in turn suffer decreased attention span in the process.
He also says that the Internet itself is to blame with its color, movement, sound, and ability for us to manipulate it.
The high stimulation can elevate certain neurochemicals in our brain that make us used to being stimulated at a higher level. As a result, real, non-digital life becomes a little duller, making us more inclined to flit from one thing to another to be stimulated.
There is a solution to this though, according to Greenfield, we just need to be aware of how we’re using technology and then scale back on the forms that are most distracting.