The Memory of a Goldfish – How Social Media is Killing our Attention Span.

Do you find yourself constantly multi-tasking? not able to just focus on one thing at a time? Maybe you try to watch a movie and end up reading articles on your phone half way through. This could be due to the rise of fast paced news cycles and social media. Our brains have become accustomed to consuming large quantities of media in short amounts of time, so much so that as of 2013 the human attention span has dropped to 8 seconds. One second below the infamous “memory of a goldfish”. So what does this mean for our brains and the brands that use social media?

Brain Stimulation

Social Media is a fast paced technology that is also highly accessible which means when we are scrolling we are exposed to high quantities of brain stimulations. Think about your Twitter or Instagram feed, even watching a Tiktok. These forms of microblogging allow us to consume endlessly. Not only do our feeds go on forever, each post is created by a new person giving us variety between viewing our friends, brands, celebrities and influencers. The continuation of constant scrolling makes the possibility of what we could come across next exciting. This type of rabidly firing neurons in our brain is not something we often get in other forms of our life and therefore cause us to struggle with giving our continual attention to something slower paced.

Trending Topic

What does this mean for those who use social media to brand and advertise their company? Well due to shorter consumer attention span it is harder to stay the topic of conversation. With the volume of content increasing at a such a speed, and our brain easily becomes bored by topics quickly and craving something new, we switch between topics much more quickly than seen before. Topics that are seen to be “trending” on platforms fall out of public view in a short period of time. A study published in Nature Communications shows that in 2013 topics trending on twitter would last for an average 17.5 hours, in 2016 that time had dropped to an average 11.9 hours. Not only do companies need to make sure their online presence is seen by their social media communities and work to make positive interactions with them, that may only translate to 15 minutes of internet trending “fame”.

What Can We Do For Our Attention Spans

Now you may be asking yourself “In this social media centric society what can I add into my daily routine to combat the continual want to scroll endlessly?” A few ideas are; monitoring your screen time and setting daily allowances for yourself, relaxing your mind through breathing exercises and meditation, turning a space such as your bedroom into a stimulus free zone, or finding hobbies that don’t include technology (such as reading or biking). Tell me which one of these practices you will try out in the poll below.

Social Media Posts

Twitter: Have you ever wondered what scrolling through social media for hours does to our brains? I break it down for you in my latest blog post! Go check it out!

Facebook: How many hours have you spent hours scrolling through Instagram, twitter or Facebook? Don’t worry this is normal! Many people are doing this to create brain stimulation and we’ve become so used having such large quantities of social media content at our fingertips. In my latest blog you can find out how this affects both our brain and the brands who use social media. Make sure to also check out the everyday tips and tricks to how to help your attention span!

References:

https://bit.ly/2PyTK5X

https://bit.ly/3lWslH8

https://bit.ly/3srqsEF

3 thoughts on “The Memory of a Goldfish – How Social Media is Killing our Attention Span.

  1. Thank you Hayley! I really enjoyed your post. the infographic and poll were a great addition. I enjoyed the interactive aspect of the poll. Great job! Cheers, Jemma

  2. Great read! Something that’s helped me monitor my social media consumption is the “Screen Time” feature found on iPhones. Every week the app will tell me how much average time I’ve spent on each social media app and it helps me put into perspective how much time I’ve been wasting on my phone. Loved the poll by the way!

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