Last week, I got myself a new Android Phone and I was pretty excited about what all i can do with it. I made a few plans for the upcoming week and kept my plans well sorted in Google Keep. Here’s what I planned, Since I am not a voracious reader but i intend to be one. So, I decided to read more and more. I planned to read some good books and spend more time on reading Quora but none of this happened. After a couple of minutes everything seemed too long to read.(TL;DR). Though, I can browse 9GAG and imgur links on Reddit all day long but when it comes to reading i give up completely after a while. Similar might be the case with majority of people who spend a lot of time on Internet.
The attention span of people have decreased tremendously in last few years, In the year 2000, the average attention span of an Individual was 12 seconds which is down to 8 seconds in 2012 (less than even a Gold fish’s attention span of 9 seconds). The question is where did the attention span go? Is it the Internet, which doesn’t let us concentrate on one particular thing at a time? What is it, don’t you want to know?
The entire Internet can’t be blamed for this but social media can surely be.
Loads of Information
The Information travels faster than the speed of light on social media. According to a recent Infographic published by Intel, In Just one minute on Internet 6,39, 800 GB of Global IP data is transferred.
Every minute 6 new Wikipedia articles published, 100,000 new tweets posted, twenty million photos viewed on Flickr, Facebook accounts for 6+ million page-views, 30 hours of videos uploaded on YouTube and a lot of other things happen too.
This Information overload is not letting us concentrate on one subject. To keep ourselves in pace we adapted accordingly, we started skimming through the information and with time we have developed a habit which keeps us from reading. Isn’t it bad?
Social Media is Messed Up
Not a complete mess but yes social media is messed up.
Many a times, I find myself scrolling down the Facebook news feed for a couple of minutes but don’t find anything worth looking for. On the other hand, Twitter doesn’t even let me scroll down, even keeping up with the pace of tweets flowing in at any instant is a lot to do.
Social Media feeds us with a lot of Information, (The information which we are looking for+ the information which we are not looking for (surprise factor)+ the sponsored information) which messes it all up.
And this how, A lot of our time goes in to the trash and the remaining time is just not enough to dig deep and concentrate on one particular topic.
Social Media is Trying to Take the Benefit of our Short Attention Span
Pinterest is built on the single concept that an image is worth thousand words, trying to replace pictures with text ; Twitter wants us to complete every sentence in less than 140 characters and the newly launched Vine is trying to make us habitual of videos less than 7 seconds.
Are you getting what they are trying to do?
Social Media’s new strategy is to take the benefit of short attention span of the people and make their services accordingly so that people can get what they are habitual of and in this process, with in a couple of years, the attention span of the people will fall down further.
Isn’t it sick? Think about it.
Now, the point is how can this be avoided?
I don’t have an answer for this question at this moment but i am taking some time off from Internet after this post, may be I’ll come up with some solutions in the next post.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.