According to a research study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the National Library of Medicine, the average attention span in the year 2000 was 12 seconds. By 2015, it had shrunk to 8.25 seconds. They claim it is probably even less today. Just for the record, we as humans allegedly have an attention span less than a goldfish, which is 9 seconds.
Are you really going to let a goldfish have a better attention span than you? Do I have your attention now? If not, please put your smartphone down or stop whatever it is you are distracted with just for a moment more…
This study had gone viral on the internet where a lot of news outlets such as Time Magazine, New York Times, and USA Today all wrote about the 8 second attention span. The statistics appear to be questionable. Many sources cite it was Microsoft Canada Advertising behind the publication. To me, this suggests it was just a marketing tactic. What was not fully disclosed was that this study revolves around web usage and online games. After I understood this, it all made more logical sense to me. We go online to check our email or research something but somehow end up watching a video of a teenager in California do a face-plant or a kitten in New Zealand do a yoga routine and end up completely forgetting why we went online in the first place.
Let’s dig into this a little more.