A recent investigation by Microsoft came to a predictable and disturbing conclusion: our average attention span is declining by leaps and bounds.
8 seconds of continuous attention
This type of study has been practiced since 2000, when we began to have smartphones stuck in our hands; And if then our capacity was 12 consecutive or consecutive seconds, in 2019, the amount of time has decreased to 8 seconds!
The research was carried out in Canada, where a group of researchers surveyed 2,000 participants and studied their brain activity using EEGs.
Thus, it was concluded that our attention span is less than that of minnows, which is calculated in just nine seconds.
The point is that beyond those 8 seconds in front of digital devices, the effects of this new ‘lifestyle’ inform us that the brain is increasingly ‘digitized’ and that connects with new habits, especially among the most young, used to living like natives in this world of endless screens.
Observing the youngest we see that reading habits have changed and, if they read, it is because they are forced, the vast majority. An unintelligent way of encouraging a practice, reading, that stimulates knowledge and, furthermore, the interest in knowing. But, now YouTube videos triumph, not too long, and if they don’t like them, they jump to another and another and another, to infinity because in that social network the word infinite takes on meaning. More videos are uploaded per minute than you can see in several days.
The survey also confirmed generational differences in mobile use; For example, 77% of 18-24 year olds answered “yes” when asked, “When I have nothing to do, the first thing I do is reach for my phone,” compared to only 10% of people over 65 years of age. The bad thing is that young people have too much leisure time 😀
How all this influences current marketing strategies
Of course, all of this influences traditional marketing techniques. And he does it in a forceful way because if you study neuromarketing techniques, and you know how we react to commercial stimuli, when the stimuli are as scarce as those 8 seconds … there are more words: the description is done, and full of difficulties.
For example, as we discussed in a previous article on the subject, it is known that people are more likely to choose healthy menu options when they are displayed on the left side of the menu and unhealthy items on the right. In such a way that it will be recommended to reduce the number of words to a minimum so that brains do not reject an overabundance of information. In order for them to listen to you, you have to be as precise as it is concise… you have 8 seconds!
There is still room for hope
Not everything is negative in the study carried out by Microsoft. The report also shows that “our ability to multitask has improved dramatically in the mobile age.”
Microsoft theorized about the changes that are taking place in this new era and concluded that the brain’s ability to adapt and change over time and a weaker attention span may be a side effect of evolving to a mobile Internet.
In addition, it is more than usual to watch television and, at the same time, have the phone or the tablet at the same time. Even commenting on what is seen on social networks. It is a total interaction that encompasses any time of the day: at leisure, at study and at work.
The big question that I ask myself now is if you have been able to read this entire article. If you haven’t been distracted looking at your mobile because it bored you, even though, I think, I’ve told you interesting things 😀