Short-form media content is worse for the mind than people think

Short-form media content is worse for the mind than people think

Social media apps containing short-form media content are decreasing people’s attention span as the years go on, and some don’t seem to understand how bad it is.

Short-form media content apps like TikTok that show 15 to 30-second clips are decreasing attention spans due to quick and instant gratification. According to the queen’s journal, “Social media has taken over our attention spans through quick and instant gratification, affecting our brains’ ability to focus on anything else we feel is less interesting.” 

So has short-form media content affected students in the classroom?

It’s common for teachers to tell a student to pay attention in class, but since the rise of short-form content, it’s become a huge problem. According to the American physiological society, teachers should hold lectures for 10-15 minutes to accommodate the biological set point of a student’s attention span. But with the rise of short-form content, these numbers are starting to decrease; the average person’s attention span has reduced by 25 percent from 2000 to 2015, about the same time social media started the attention span nowadays compared to that of a goldfish. 

How can we improve our attention span? 

Fortunately, while this issue is widespread, there are ways to combat it. One way to improve the attention span is meditation. Meditation is a great way to better your mental health and focus. In addition, states, “as you meditate on something, you’re training your focus, and over time, it will expand. Think of meditation as weight training for your brain. The more you do, the more you’ll be able to focus!”

Another way that one could improve their attention span is by exercising. Attention exercises (otherwise known as focus exercises) are practices used to improve concentration or attention. Some attention exercises consist of learning to better the time you spend on tasks, while others utilize memory recognition to help you recall things better. According to these consist of meditation, making notes, reading long books, and practicing active listening. Doing these focus exercises can improve your connection with people due to the enhanced ability to listen to them actively during a conversation. These exercises can also improve your work efficiency; Furthermore, they explain, “If you concentrate for longer periods, you can spend less time overall completing a project. This also gives you more opportunities to increase its quality.” 

Mental exercises aren’t the only ways to improve your attention span. A study at the University of Granada showed a connection between physical activity and longer attention spans. According to, “Strength training and other forms of exercise can help you develop discipline and feel more energized. These attributes can help you sustain focus, particularly during a high-concentration event or job interview. Try dedicating 15 or 30 minutes a day to a physical activity you enjoy doing.”