Modern Day Blogging and the Short Attention Span Epidemic

Yumia Hobbsblog-image

With the growth in popularity of social media platforms such as Periscope, Vine, and even Facebook Live, more people have gotten cozy with the idea of documenting events live instead of writing formal status updates and blog posts. Because of this, the question of whether or not participating in the “everything live” phase leads to higher engagement from followers and subscribers. Statistics and memes alike make it okay to declare that most people spend most of their day looking at their phones- to the point where no one looks normal if they’re not looking down at their phone while walking. Since we all spend so much time condensing our thoughts down to 140 characters, it would make sense to assume that spending so much time getting all of the information we need in such small snippets that it has become hard to read anything that doesn’t take longer than 30 seconds. It would be safe to say that social media and the internet in general has led to complete obliteration of the human attention span. Time Magazine did their own digging into this back in 2015 in the “You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish” article written by Kevin McSpadden. In the article, McSpadden writes, “The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds.”
So, how does this effect bloggers? I figure it’s a question that would stick out in the mind of any blogger or social media enthusiast. Some say the shorter, the better. Publications like The Guardian would agree. In The Guardian article “Say it Quick, Say it Well- the attention span of a modern internet consumer,” author Rob Weatherhead states,
“In a world of instant gratification and where an alternative website is just a mouse click away website owners need to find ways to firstly grab the attention of a user, and then keep it for long enough to get your message across. If you don’t, their cursor will be heading to the back button and on to a competitor in the blink of an eye.”
In conclusion, the key seems to be to figure out what you want to get across, and get it across in the quickest way possible.

TIME Article

The Guardian Article

Original Attention Span Image

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism