Time is the most valuable commodity.
Time is so valuable people create tools to manage it, multitask to save it, and hire others to use their time. A study by Lloyd’s TSB Insurance in 2008 claims that attention spans have decreased from 12 minutes in 1998 to five minutes at the time of the study, over six years ago. Although there’s speculation about the validity of the study, it is obvious that something is happening.
Many experts accredit the explosive growth of the Internet to the decline of attention span, and as new media grows, people will find even more things to split their time between. Below is an infographic depicting social media’s affect on the human brain. Note there’s a mistype and should be five minutes, not five seconds, but pretty solid information nonetheless!
This prompted me to consciously think of my own attention span and disruptions. During the course of me creating this post, I stopped my stream of thought and read five emails, watched a youtube video (but quit watching after minute four of six), read two unrelated articles, replied to a Facebook post and queued up the last episode of Scandal to watch on my iPad. While some people call this multitasking, I argue there’s truly no such thing, as each task is interrupted to do the other task.
Are you noticing a difference in how you pay attention (or don’t) on the web?
Moore, M. (2008 November 26). Stress of modern life cuts attention span to five minutes. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/3522781/Stress-of-modern-life-cuts-attention-spans-to-five-minutes.html
Plumridge, N. (2013 August 1). Is the internet destroying our attention span? Retrieved from: http://psychminds.com/is-the-internet-destroying-our-attentions-span/
RKT. (2011 December 13). How social media is ruining our minds [infographic]. Retrieved from: http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/resources/social-media-is-ruining-our-minds-infographic/