The 10 Seconds

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by Mr Brand

Shrinking Attention Spans – How are they affecting us?

The increase in technology in our society provides us with great benefits and is a means of keeping ourselves constantly entertained. Our ability to multi-task has improved, and our children are practically born with the knowledge of how to operate phones and tablets.

In light of all these developments, however, there is one disadvantage that increased technology seems to be having on the human mind. This is the decline in our ability to focus.

By the time you finish reading this sentence your attention will already have wavered, maybe two or three times. A goldfish is currently thought to have a higher attention span than the average human. This might be considered a bit embarrassing at first, but it is best to keep in mind that the goldfish doesn’t have a smartphone to distract them.

Attention Span Statistics

Human attention span in 2000: 12 seconds

Attention span of a goldfish: 9 seconds

Human attention span in 2015: 8 seconds

These results were based on a study undertaken by researchers in Canada, which included 2000 participants who were surveyed, and 112 whose brain activity was monitored. As you can see, since the technological boost at the start of the new millennium, the average human attention span has declined from 12 to 8 seconds.

Even though people who spend a lot of time using technology are unable to concentrate for prolonged periods of time, they have occasional bursts of high attention. Whenever browsing the internet or reading social media posts, there is the instant knowledge of which articles are relevant to them and their interests. It has been suggested that this is the result of our desire to ingest as much knowledge as possible.

This decrease in our attention spans has also affected our memory. At least 7% of people now forget their own birthday every few years. The easiest way for people to recall anything now is for them to actually see it.

Advertising vs attention spans

With the internet constantly being bombarded with new information, as well as our lower attention spans and decreased memory capacity, there has been a drastic change in the way that people will need to advertise. Marketers now have to find a way to give prospective clients the most information in the shortest amount of time, in a form that they will be able to comprehend and remember. This explains why there has been such a significant increase in video advertising; especially the need for extremely short, high quality videos that will have a high impact on the consumer and create a long lasting mutually beneficial business relationship.

About the author

About the author

Mr Brand is the ambassador for 10 Seconds. He’s on a mission to give marketing professionals a competitive advantage in the Age of Attention Economics. He believes that to gain such advantage you need crystal clear communication. It’s all about the initial moment. Win people’s attention in the first 10 Seconds and you’ve opened the gateway to the final 10 Seconds, that all important conversion. He also likes to challenge conventional wisdom and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

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