According to a recent study the average human attention span has fallen from 12 to eight seconds. Coinciding with the rise in social media and smart phone usage, our attention span is now shorter than a goldfish.
If you google “attention span + technology” you’ll be quick to find thousands of articles, studies and discussions about how technology is changing our brains. From destroying our attention span to increasing our ability to multi-task, there is no doubt that modern technology is having an impact.
But before I read about any of this I already knew my attention span was scattered. It was just obvious. Before the rise of facebook and smartphones I used to read more: books, magazines, the newspaper.. I used to frequent cafes and read good old printed material whilst sipping a cleche latte. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Instead I usually take my phone or laptop, skull a latte and do several things on the net at once.
I used to rent a DVD and just watch it from start to finish. Now I find myself watching netflix, whilst chatting with a friend on facebook, sending an email and answering a phone call. I find myself dancing between all those things and feeling sort of odd if I don’t. My brain has gotten used to scattered stimulation.
So that’s why I started this blog. I felt the latent call of my true attention span. I felt saturated by short grabs. I was done with distraction. It was time to concentrate. To bring back the old school part of me that wanted to go deeper.
So in April I just started writing. Every day that I had spare time I wrote a blog post. I read and I ranted. I picked a topic and wove my personal reflections with the perspectives of industry experts. I gave my brain a chance to truly ponder over what I believe.
Now it’s been two months and I can honestly say my brain has started to change.. for the better. I’ve found myself viewing other people’s blogs and actually reading them from start to finish. Taking the time to comment from a deeper reflective place. I’m glad I chose wordpress (they should pay me for that plug!!) as it seems to attract writers and those who share that same call towards a longer expression.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love social media. I love my phone. I love it all. Sometimes I still love faffing around in scatterbrain land doing 20 things at once but I had reached a point where I’d crossed the line. I was overly addicted and it wasn’t serving me. I wanted to cultivate a more focused downtime practice. And so far I’m really glad I did!
The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Dr Kelly Brogan, Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist. Check out her 44 day online course that explores holistic interventions like diet, meditation, exercise and mindset.