The Age of the Goldfish is here and with it, a constant hunger for something new.
You are probably aware that society has been changing drastically since the advent and dispersion of technology. We now have more tech jobs, wifi on airplanes and are on our way to driverless cars. But, have you ever wondered how technology is affecting us on a smaller, more minute level? Read on to find out.
“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”
-Herbert Simon, Nobel winner, Economics (1978)
Overall, our digital lifestyle has had a negative impact on prolonged focus. We have entered a different time, one where our attention span seems to come under scrutiny. The Age of the Goldfish presents a new reality where the short attention span of the goldfish (9 seconds) now outlasts our own. In 2003, the average human attention span lasted 12 seconds. In 2013, it dropped to 8, a second shorter than that of a goldfish.
A short attention span sounds like a bad thing, but it’s just our mind adapting to an increasingly digitized environment – making it nothing more than an outcome of progressive technology. Since the top factors that impact attention, media consumption, social media usage, technology adoption rate and multi-screening, are activities we regularly engage in, our attention is adapting as well.
We want to absorb as much information as possible within the shortest amount of time, and being more selective with where we place our focus makes that possible.
All in all, connected consumers are becoming better at doing more with less via shorter bursts of high attention and more efficient encoding to memory.