Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

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Hey there!

When I worked at America Online back in the 90’s, we used to run focus group studies to see how members used our service.

Back then, we were surprised to learn just how quickly people lost focus and were distracted by anything other than the AOL service.

You’d be surprised how times have, literally, changed.

Hope this helps!



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  1. First, kudos for using the word “literally” correctly (as well as “fleeting”). Second, I think there’s a– Ooh! I’ve got to check this Instagram…

    Seriously, though–good data to have, David. Thanks.

  2. So true about attention spans, David. In fact, these days I use a “got it” system for listening or watching just about anything. Once I feel I’ve “got it,” I’m out. Exceptions would include: a) I just happen to have the time to spare, or b) the content is so compelling, I simply must see it through to the end, or c) I judge the content as important enough that I don’t want to risk missing some key point. For everything else, I watch or listen till I’ve “got it” and then I’m good.

  3. Thank you for keeping these videos brief!

    It has nothing to do with a short attention span, thank you very much. I rarely commit to any kind of video blog or podcast because I am simply not going to commit that kind of time. Usually they are chatty and rambling and the actual content could have been written in a short (or even not-so-short) blog or article I can take in on my own time.

    I have several things I am studying, learning, or just trying to keep up-to-date on and the bar is high for meriting a share of my attention. And video or audio longer than 20 minutes NEVER makes that cut.

    Again, thank you.