The attention span is a psychological measure of the time a person can maintain focused attention on one auditory, visual, or cognitive task before becoming distracted. The average adult has an average of 8 seconds with which they are able to pay full attention while reading text. What does this mean for our ability to process information? How do we ensure that people stay engaged in video games and other online media?
The “human attention span 2021 study” is a study that predicts the diminishing of human attention span due to the increasing amount of information that humans are exposed to. The study also suggests how this will affect society in the future.
“How the world is presented on television becomes the example for how the world should be done correctly.” It’s not only that entertainment serves as a paradigm for all dialogue on television. It’s only that off-screen, the same metaphor reigns supreme. Television today commands the way politics, religion, commerce, education, law, and other vital social concerns are conducted, much as typography once did. Americans no longer converse with one another in courtrooms, schools, operating rooms, board rooms, churches, or even airlines; instead, they amuse one another. They don’t communicate ideas; instead, they swap pictures. They fight with nice looks, celebrities, and ads, not with arguments.” Neil Postman (Neil Postman)
The influence “of the most major American cultural reality of the second half of the twentieth century: the fall of the Age of Typography and the rise of the Age of Television” was addressed in Neil Postman’s famous book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. Postman made a compelling case that the medium forms the message, that specific modes of communication can only carry certain types of material, and that the style, structure, and delivery of that content defines our society.
Our language and communication tools impact the way we think about the world. It’s not something we think about very frequently, if at all. Because they use different terms to describe the world, a Russian will never perceive the world the same way an American does. And a civilization that communicates using smoke signals will never perceive the world the same way as those who communicate through mobile phones. Postman made the following argument:
“Our media-metaphors categorize the world for us, sequence it, frame it, magnify it, diminish it, color it, make a case for what the world is like, whether we are seeing it via the lens of speech, the written word, or the television camera.”
Since the publication of Postman’s book in 1982, our ways of communication have advanced dramatically. The internet is becoming the major means of communication, entertainment, and information collecting for many individuals. Postman bemoaned the fact that no one at the time was paying enough attention to how new technology was altering our social and intellectual culture. That is, without a doubt, still true. We speak a lot about the new information era, but we don’t really think about how it’s affecting our lives.
Since the transformation from an oral to a written society, people have bemoaned the changes in our methods of communication. Every new development is accompanied with warnings that the new medium would usher in the end of civilisation as we know it. Yet, through time, we’ve learned that each technological advancement has both benefits and drawbacks, leaving the balance sheet in the black sometimes and the red other times.
The same is true with the internet. It is a significant good. I would contend that there is much more good than negative. It has provided the ordinary individual with more access to information than at any other moment in history. I can study about the Battle of Thebes or attend a lecture from a world-renowned academic with only a few keystrokes. We may communicate with friends and family in real time. Our oyster is the whole planet.
However, no medium is without flaws. In some respects, the internet is altering the way we learn and communicate for the worse. We may either utilize the internet as a useful instrument in our life, or we can fall into the following traps and be entertained right out of our masculinity.
The Decline in Attention Span
Spending 7 hours listening to the Lincoln-Douglas debates was a great way to spend the day for our forefathers in the nineteenth century. They were willing to sit for 7 hours and listen to weighty political theory and policy without checking their Blackberries once. That type of one-of-a-kind ecstasy is now unthinkable. Instead, we live in a “peek-a-boo” society, in which we anticipate and want new things to appear out of nowhere to surprise and delight us.
“Now…this,” according to Postman, is one of the deadliest sentences in our language. He was alluding to the way the phrase permits newscasters to bounce between two topics that are utterly unrelated, such as “A horrible earthquake struck Taiwan today, killing 10,000 people.” Now…this. At the zoo, a koala bear was born!”
“The statement is a way of admitting that the world as mapped by accelerated electronic media has no order or purpose and should not be taken seriously.” Each narrative has “content, context, and emotional texture isolated from what comes before and after it….viewers are seldom compelled to carry over any concept or feeling from one parcel of time to the next.”
News programs are designed to appeal to our impatience; each story lasts a minute or less before the anchor “now this-es” us to the next. When the newscasters were completely in charge of the “now…this,” this fast bouncing from one item to another did a number on our attention spans. We are now in command, able to go from one article to the next and from one website to the next in a matter of seconds. It’s on to something else if something doesn’t grab us right away. We no longer watch whole programs; instead of watching Saturday Night Live, we watch the greatest parts online; instead of watching the news, we watch news footage satirized in clips from The Daily Show.
“While brevity does not necessarily imply triviality, it does in this situation.” It’s impossible to communicate the gravity of an event if its ramifications are exhausted in less than one minute.”
As a result, Internet users want bite-sized, readily consumable information. The rule of thumb in blogging is that postings should be no more than a paragraph or two lengthy. When we established the Art of Manliness, we took a deliberate choice to break the trend, reasoning that among the other things we’d aim to bring back from the past, we should add the attention span. After all, if a subject is significant enough to write about, it should also be important enough to address thoroughly.
Man’s Worldview Is Narrowing
When we have a contentious post on AoM, I am usually disappointed by one kind of comment: the individual who proclaims that they are unsubscribing from the site because they disagree with or dislike the article. These types of remarks no longer bother me since they make me anxious about the future of AoM; the site is doing OK. No, I find these types of remarks concerning because they are reflective of a larger, really depressing societal trend. They eloquently demonstrate how many males in today’s culture actually feel that the world revolves around them.
I’m completely perplexed by unsubscribing from a blog because you disagree with a single piece. In what world could any publication, whether it a blog, newspaper, magazine, or television program, possibly provide everyday material that is completely aligned with one’s own personal interests? And, maybe more importantly, why would you want it to?
During the early days of the internet, it was hailed as a new form of forum, a place where people could freely discuss ideas and communicate with individuals of all different backgrounds and perspectives. Unfortunately, the internet has instead been exploited to create ever-narrower groups, smaller and smaller niches of like-minded people who like having their preconceived beliefs affirmed and their egos massaged.
Our forefathers would be rolling over in their graves if we took this attitude to life. Men of old aggressively sought out the ideas of individuals who disagreed with them, whether in French salons or American juntos, and utilized these encounters to conduct a heated but courteous discussion about the topics. Traveling lectures were one of the most popular forms of entertainment, with each speaker getting three hours to present his point. After then, another speaker would be allowed the same amount of time to respond. People stayed after the speaker with whom they agreed had completed speaking; they enjoyed hearing the counterargument as well. They realized that the intellect is not merely made up of the things we already enjoy, and that what irritates us might be just as beneficial, if not better, for the mind.
The Information Trivialization
“Because telegraphy accomplished something Morse didn’t expect… It shattered the existing notion of information, giving public dialogue a whole new meaning. Henry David Thoreau was one of the few who saw the implications, writing in Walden, “We are in a great hurry to build magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; yet Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing significant to convey…” We are excited to dig under the Atlantic and bring the old world a few weeks closer to the new; but, it is possible that the first news to reach the vast flapping American ear may be that Princess Adelaide has whooping cough.’ As it turned out, Thoreau was completely accurate. He saw that the telegraph would define conversation for itself… The telegraph attacked typography’s concept of speech in three ways, bringing irrelevance, impotence, and incoherence on a massive scale. The fact that telegraphy gave a form of legitimacy to the idea of context-free information, that is, the idea that the value of information need not be tied to any function it might serve in social and political decision-making and action, but rather to its novelty, interest, and curiosity, roused these demons of discourse.” -Postman
Postman believed that television was insufficient for serious, intellectual communication. He didn’t think it was impossible; he just didn’t think the medium was suited to it. The most important goal of television is to attract viewers, and the simplest method to do it is to appeal to short attention spans with amusing fluff. The emphasis has to be on pleasure rather than knowledge.
This tendency has only been increased by the internet. Every website competes for hits, and it’s been swiftly established that “New Megan Fox photographs!” draws a lot more attention than “Bomb Explosion in Iraq.” Furthermore, websites offer just the most rudimentary outlines of stories, knowing that the viewer is anxious and would go from one item to another rapidly. Because there is so much variety, each website must stand out by providing the shortest, fluffiest material imaginable. As a consequence, there’s a sea of irrelevant data, each piece unconnected from the others and devoid of context. What Postman stated about the telegraph holds true for the internet as well:
“Telegraphy also rendered public dialogue mostly incomprehensible. It ushered in a world of shattered time and shattered attention… The telegraph’s main advantage was its ability to transfer information rather than gather, explain, or analyze it.”
As a consequence of the internet’s inconsequential, fragmented information, depth of knowledge has been traded for breadth of knowledge. We all know about the current Tiger Woods scandal, what our buddy Mike had for breakfast, and why Jane is having a terrible day, but how many of us are familiar with and comprehend Obama’s Afghanistan strategy? As a result, we converse offline in the same way. Instead of discussing health-care issues with our buddies, we show them the newest Family Guy and keyboard cat footage.
I’m not a knucklehead (it would be hard to pull off being one and being a blogger). I also like using the internet. It enables a man like myself to establish a new men’s magazine with nothing more than a few ideas and some elbow grease. I like how simple it is to learn everything I want to know about any topic. I really like being able to communicate with folks all around the globe. I just believe that the internet, like any other instrument, should be utilized with caution. There’s nothing wrong with entertainment, and everyone needs a Christian side hug every now and again. And, from time to time, we at AoM like to write posts simply for fun. It’s just an issue of moderation and balance. A guy must be cautious not to gorge himself on nothing but fluff. It not only depletes the mind and soul, but it also affects our offline life. We want everything to be done quickly and simply. We want the world and the people who live in it to support our goals. We are unable to concentrate on things that cannot be avoided. When we fill our lives with the seemingly inconsequential, we risk overlooking the things that really important, the ideals and connections that stretch us and cannot be achieved with a single mouse click.
“What I propose here as a solution is also what Aldous Huxley proposed… He was attempting to tell us, in the end, that the problem with the people in Brave New World wasn’t that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they didn’t know what they were laughing about or why they had stopped thinking.”
Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death is the source.
The “microsoft attention span study 2020” is a study that found that the average attention span has decreased by 50% in the last decade. It also stated that this trend will continue until it reaches zero.
Frequently Asked Questions
How declining attention spans impact your social media?
A: Social media has had a huge impact on attention spans because of its fast-paced, interactive nature.
How poor attention span can affect ones daily life?
A: Poor attention span can affect a persons daily life in many ways. It may lead to very short tempered, which leads to more problems and arguments with loved ones. It also causes the individual not being able to concentrate on tasks at hand as well as misplacing objects and losing track of time or day altogether
Why has human attention span decreased?
A: Human attention span has decreased because of a variety of factors, the most notable being social media and the increased amount of time spent on it.
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