Why is my soapbox only 300 words? Because I knew long before Microsoft surveyed 2,000 Canadians, that the attention span of the average human was a little more than a nano second. Actually it’s 8 seconds, and although the study focused on Canadians, I’m sure Americans are running parallel in that department. The average goldfish has the attention span of 9 seconds, but really, if you were in a bowl of water all day with no life goals, how long would your attention span be?
On the upside, this survey found that due to smartphones (thank you, Steve) our ability to multi-task has increased. The survey reported that men are better than women at multi-tasking, but I totally disagree on that one. Today’s people are better at identifying what they want and don’t want to engage with and need less to process and commit things to memory.
79% of the people surveyed are dual-screeners – using their smartphone and watching TV at the same time. I have to admit that I do my best pinning (on Pinterest) while watching a movie. Sitting in one spot while staring at the screen boring and feeds into my short attention span.
Here are some interesting stats, but you’ll probably forget them quickly:
• 25% of teenagers report forgetting important details about their friends and family
• 7% of people forget their own birthdays from time to time
• The average office worker checks their email 30 times every hour
• Typical mobile users check their phones more than 150 times per day
• Content on the internet tripled between 2010 and 2013
• Social media sharing has doubled from 2011 to 2013
Bottom line: we can do a lot of things at one time, but forget what we did. We don’t talk to people as much as texting, tweeting and sharing on facebook. We use our fingers and eyes more than our mouth. Communication and writing skills are disappearing. In years to come the human head will be tilted down at the extended hand holding the smartphone.
Parts of this soapbox were taken from articles on the Microsoft survey.