Humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish

… which means it is shorter than 9 seconds

Based on Marketingimpott & Microsoft Corp.Study

Our new constant partner is the smartphone, 24/7 on our side no matter where we are on the train, at work, or even eating in a restaurant.

But is it normal to rather spend time with your phone than talking to the person next to you? How productive can we be, if we’re always “on” ? Are we efficient at work if we simultaneously check our private messages or emails? What is going to happen with our family life if our kids would rather play games on the smartphone and parents on social media than spending time together? What are the consequences of our changed behavior?

It’s no question that our performance is shrinking if we can’t manage to stay concentrated on one task. Part of our mental capacity is always focused on the smartphone and the digital world. We’re always easily reachable by everyone and this is threatening our relationships with friends, family and also our work-life. This digital transition is also a challenge for companies. To get a new customers attention the time is ticking even faster.

According to a new study from Microsoft people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds – compared to the average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish which is nine seconds. This is highlighting the effects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain. The study found out that since the year 2000 – when the mobile revolution started – the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds. The survey also confirmed generational differences for mobile use; for example, 77% of people aged 18 to 24 responded “yes” when asked, “When nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone,” compared with only 10% of those over the age of 65.

With the increase in smartphones usage, we run into the risk of overstimulation and dependence, which represents new challenges for companies because together with the attention span, the active dwell time is decreasing as well. Only 55% of web users spend more than 15 seconds active on a website.

Companies have to accept this trend which means that text-based content and loading times should be reduced as much as possible. These is also why pictures and videos have a hype and video marketing is becoming even more important.

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