The human attention span is a joke. Apparently, our attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. In case you’re wondering if perhaps a goldfish’s attention span is unusually long, it’s not. We are competing with nine seconds and still losing. How pathetic is that? We think of ourselves as having such great mental capabilities when in reality we can’t even will ourselves to pay attention long enough.
Knowing this fact, it’s a miracle that the human race has been able to accomplish anything. The fact that societies are as complex as they are, proves that we have been able to overcome this obstacle to some extent. However, we have yet to fully resolve the issue at hand.
The pace at which we live has become accelerated ever since the introduction of technology. Add that to our already innately short attention span, and our short attention span just got shorter. We are exposed to so many ads, websites, photos, videos and other forms of media throughout our day to day life, all of which are thrown at us, screaming for our attention. And obviously we do not want to miss out on anything, so we try to keep up with our pile of media to stay socially aware and “relevant.”
But after you are finished reading a tweet, what do you do? Do you even absorb what you just read? More often than we would probably like to admit, we just move on to the next thing, scrolling away and forgetting what we had just read. We need to clear our mind and make space for whatever may come up next in our feed. While within the scope of Twitter not paying too much attention to everything you see may be okay, but these habits that we have developed tend to also translate to other components of our life.
Recently, there has been a school shooting in Florida. I am almost certain that you have heard about it. Right now, the media is booming with topics about gun control, mental health and other subject matter that may have some relation to school shooting because at the moment, that is what is timely. However, soon enough, this buzz will pass. You will forget all about this tragedy in Florida until the next school shooting comes up sometime in the future when you are reminded of this event.
Our society lacks longevity. Nothing stays constant because we do not have the patience to see something pan out over a long period of time. We are constantly searching for what is “new” because that grabs our attention. But with the pace of society moving so fast, the issues we see on hand do not remain prominent issues long enough for us to take the time to address them.
There is always some new problem, something that takes greater precedence. But how many times must something happen in order for it to receive the attention it deserves? History tends to repeat itself, so the problems we pass up on in the moment will ultimately come back to haunt us.
We need to slow down. That is a fact. If this pace continues, or worse, gets faster, who knows what will happen. Hopefully you made it to the end of this article. If you did, congratulations, I’m glad I was able to hold your attention long enough. And if you didn’t, well you’re not even reading this part, but you are proof that this problem exists.