Our Attention Aint What It Used To Be

attention-span-feature

The information overload we’ve become accustomed to has scientifically caused some adverse side effects. Our attention spans have decrease by 33% between 2000 and 2013 and is now shorter than a goldfish.

This episode examines how our attention spans have decreased and what we can do to increase it.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: How long in until you start losing focus on today’s episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • Study done by Microsoft Canada on attention span [01:47]
  • Average attention span of a human was 12 seconds in 2000 and then dropped to 8 seconds in 2013 [02:32]
  • The average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds long [03:07]
  • Greatest impact on why attention span has decreased [03:55]
  • 44% of Canandians really have to concentrate on tasks to stay focused,    [04:21]
  • 45% of people get sidetracked because of other thoughts or day dreams   [04:49]
  • 37% don’t make the best use of their time and as a result have to work late or on the weekends to complete tasks  [05:13]
  • 54% of Canandians say sometimes technology makes their lives worse  [06:33]
  • 51% believe it’s important to make time to switch off their devices  [06:53]
  • 39% disconnect from their technology at least once a month or more often  [07:01]
  • Over time, has the duration of movies and music decreased over time correlating to a decrease in attention span [08:38]
  • Movie durations from each decade from IMDB Top 250 [09:14]
  • The last time that a blockbuster movie duration was the around the length of Mad Max: Fury Road was 1958 [12:30]
  • For today’s generation, the Max Max: Fury Road generation, would The Godfather have the ability to grasp the attention the same as Mad Max or would the duration be too long?  [13:55]
  • Napoleon Dynamite and it’s ability to keep the attention of viewers [16:14]
  • Action movies around two hours long are becoming more prevalent and popular in today [16:58]
  • Song durations from each decade [18:20]
  • Music doesn’t pain as clear of a story that song duration correlates to attention span over time [20:21]
  • Three minutes and 30 seconds is the sweet spot duration of today’s songs [22:39]
  • Today’s music transitions much more rapidly between key changes, vamps, tempo and/or time signatures than comparatively to music from previous decades [24:20]
  • The usage of devices and social media has been leveraged by children at a younger and younger age [28:39]
  • How social media and apps have evolved since 2004 [29:12]
  • Cell phone usage has become rampant [29:49]
  • If I had a dollar for every time someone used the cell phone or social media when we were together [30:47]
  • Our attention spans are not going to get better, it’s going to become more challenging [31:54]
  • Fastcompany.com article on improving your attention span [33:09]
  • We all could benefit from increasing our attention spans [35:22]
  • Put down your damn phone [36:41]
  • We need to make the commitment to unplug [37:28]
  • The norm shouldn’t be using our devices and phones right up until bed [38:07]
  • We need to spend time in nature, outside, at least once a week — The more time the merrier [38:52]
  • Work on focusing only one project or task, and only that task, at least once a week [41:06]
  • Feed yourself extended content [45:18]

Movie Durations From Each Decade

  • The Kid (1921) – Charlie Chaplin – 68 minutes
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) – 102 minutes
  • Casablanca (1942) – 102 minutes
  • Vertigo (1958) – James Stewart & Kim Novak (Alfred Hitchcock) – 128 minutes
  • The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (1966) – Clint Eastwood – 161 minutes
  • The Godfather (1972) – 175 minutes
  • Scarface (1983) – 170 minutes
  • Pulp Fiction (1994) – 154 minutes
  • Gladiator (2000) – 155 minutes
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – 120 minutes

Song Durations From Each Decade

  • ‘When You’re Smiling’ by Louis Armstrong (1929) – 4:02
  • ‘Over The Rainbow’ by Judy Garland (1939) – 2:50
  • ‘In The Mood’ by Glenn Miller (1940) – 3:32
  • ‘All Shook Up’ by Elvis Presley (1957) – 1:58
  • ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles (1968) – 3:59
  • ‘Whole Lotta Love’ by Led Zeppelin (1970) – 5:34
  • ‘Billy Jean’ by Michael Jackson (1983) – 4:54
  • ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana (1992) – 5:02
  • ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem (2002) – 5:26
  • ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams (2002) – 3:53

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