Monday, May 18, 2015

We're now worse than a goldfish... attention span wise

Have you noticed your friends are now more prone to looking at their smartphones while you're talking to them? Or maybe it's you that feel the urge to do so as someone is talking to you... No matter what, it's now official: our attention span is now below that of a goldfish.

Microsoft has taken a look at how long people can focus on a particular task and the results are not very inspiring. While people could keep focused for around 12 seconds in the beginning of the century, 13 years later that amount has dropped to 8 seconds - which, to put it into perspective, is 1 second less than the attention span of a goldfish,

And don't think people could fake it, as some of the participants had their EEGs monitored to see when their attention wondered off. It's quite alarming, but there's also an upside. While people can't resist the urge to check their emails or social networks, this reduced attention span favors more focused burst of concentration and the ability to multitask.

What this study doesn't "quantify" is the simple common sense of figuring out when it's ok to take a peek at your smartphone and when you shouldn't. If you're with friends or family, why not focus on them and leave your smartphone tucked away? It will still be there when you finally have the chance to get back to it. :)

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