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Is Our Attention Span Going Out the Window?

How we read is fundamentally changing as the Web grows larger and larger everyday. We get distra… is that another cool article? I’ll be bac…. yes, found another one. Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, we get distracted much more easily these days. The Internet seems to disperse information to us in a fast stream, and thus we have changed to read the same way, fast. We are going from being able to read long articles, books, etc. to only skimming text and looking for information that is pertinent to us. This is emphasized in the article Is Google Making Us Stupid written by Nicholas Carr. This is actually changing the way we THINK. If you want to know more about it, I would suggest reading Carr’s article.

I can totally relate to this. I used to read books with ease. Some of which included Harry Potter, Dan Brown, Chuck Palahniuk, and many more. Now I get the pleasure of mostly reading only research articles online. When reading research articles I usually only want to find information about the stuff at the end, which means I usually skip most of it. Skimming at it’s finest I would call it.

I recently bought Steve Jobs, by Walter Issacson. When I sat down to read it, I noticed myself thinking about other things. I was getting distracted easily. It could have been the fact I was taking a break from writing two papers simultaneously for the next day, or it could have been how I had been reading over the past couple months (research papers mostly again). I was very surprised because I didn’t actually realize it until now, looking back. Weird huh?

It’s amazing how attention works. I am writing an article on Attention now and will be posting the link sooner than later. Don’t get too distracted!

 

I am a life-long learner, adventure seeker, and front-end developer for @ExactTarget