Trendspotting: Attention, Abbreviated
Posted on January 11, 2012
In just a decade’s time, the average attention span has plummeted
from 12 minutes to five minutes; considering that the average office worker checks his email inbox 30 to 40 times an hour, we can see why. Social media looks to be “drastically changing” the way our brains work, resulting in folks who are more impatient, forgetful, self-centered and, in some cases, distracted to a dangerous degree
. One recent study even linked this worsening impatience to bad credit
—who knew our need for instant gratification transcended our want of money? On YouTube, videos likely get just a few seconds of our time before we decide whether to click away. And we’ve grown so hopelessly devoted to our social media that we are often patently outraged
when new designs are rolled out, as YouTube execs witnessed when the service got its first makeover in six years. Because today’s marketers have scarce seconds to grab attention, they strive to milk those seconds for all they’re worth—studying where a consumer’s glance first falls
on a brand’s Facebook page, for instance. For the record, a brand’s wall tends to catch the eye even before its profile photo. Still with us? You deserve a cookie.