Why is our attention span decreasing?


People’s attention spans have been decreasing over the recent years. This is because technology can reduce our ability to think.

Studies have shown that the attention span of people has gone down due to the use of technology. The use of technology has left people to be easily distracted and not able to focus on their tasks easily. These tasks can be anything that we do in our daily lives. The use of technology in this generation is more than not, which may cause some concern on this generation’s attention span. This is because technology can reduce our ability to think.

In an Irish Times article, reporter Johann Hari spent three years researching on why people were getting distracted from doing tasks often.  He explained that “the average college student now focuses on any one task for just 65 seconds [and] the average office worker focuses on any one task for just three minutes.”

According to an article from theguardian.com, studies have shown that the internet can alter different areas of cognition, including the ability to remember things. 

It can be seen how much a human being’s attention span has decreased by comparing it to what it once was. This is what Jasmine Cundiff, a writer of an article of epigram.org.uk focused on when writing their article.

Cundiff had noticed she herself was being easily distracted and this was after her screen time had increased. While she does not only talk about their attention spans when it comes to distraction, she does highlight her impatience and how it has to do with not being able to sit through certain things and would prefer to skip over them.

Cundiff explains that students have “claimed that over-reliance on technology has shortened our attention span from twelve minutes to five minutes.”

Additionally, there has been research done about the amount of times people touch their phones throughout a certain amount of time, which ties in with the use of technology. This is something that was focused on in an article by the High School Insider of Los Angeles Times titled “Opinion: Short attention spans correlate with use of technology.”

“Market researcher Dscout found that Americans on average touch their phones 2,617 times a day,” said the High School Insider. “A survey done in 2016 showed that more than 40 percent of the answers claimed that the people checked their phones within five minutes of waking up and 50 percent claimed they checked them in the middle of the night.”

To combat this distraction, the LA Times article also gives advice on what it is we can do to improve our attention spans, such as reading 15 minutes before sleep and playing an instrument uninterrupted for about 30 minutes. Lack of attention span can cause problems for us in a variety of environments, so it is considered reasonable that some people are willing to gain it back.