Imagine you’re at your dream destination right now, with no school or job to worry about. You have an endless amount of money to spend and you have the choice to never leave.
Now come back to reality.
Was I able to grab your attention and keep you reading to this point? Good, because you’ve lasted longer than most others did; specifically, millennials.
According to a 2015 study by Microsoft, the average person now has an eight second attention span. Good luck trying to get your significant other to pay attention, which in most cases was already an issue.
The discussion of millennials and their lack of an attention span comes after this past week when the commissioner of the National Basketball Association, Adam Silver, said the league would look into shortening games to keep people interested — specifically directed at millennials.
The average basketball game lasts 48 minutes. With breaks between quarters, halftime, timeouts and other game breaks, an NBA game is to be around two and a half hours — however, still only around 48 minutes of real time basketball action.
Don’t get me wrong, the NBA has an issue with the length of their games, more so than in previous years. Silver, when discussing the possibilities of shortening games, was referring to how the final two minutes of the game can take 10-plus minutes. One team calling a timeout only for the other team to call a timeout right after, referees taking time to review plays and sometimes a high number of free throws, which stop the game.
Basketball isn’t the only sport in which people are complaining about the length and how it takes too long. Baseball has been on that path for quite sometime, and it takes around three hours to be completed. I’m bias ed because baseball is one of my favourite sports, but the fact is, when our parents were young (depending on how old your parents are), people paid attention to baseball in its entirety because they had the attention span.
Now when you ask a millennial to go to a baseball game, it’s rare they go to watch. They go to enjoy the outdoors and have a few drinks. So not only do we millennials have an attention span issue, we should be talking about a drinking problem as well.
This attention span problem extends past sports though. At the university level, when there’s a two or three hour lecture, some professors will give a five to 10 minute break. Again, don’t get me wrong, sitting there for two, especially three hours, can be damaging to your butt and brain, and can be easy to lose focus. Also, its fair to say a professor probably needs a quick break from talking so much.
Yet, most of us have to admit that by 20 minutes into class we aren’t paying much attention anymore. By the 40 minute mark we are counting down the minutes until the break. Then when returning from the break we pay attention for another 20, completely fall off and begin counting down the seconds until class is over.
Our lack of attention span is killing our studies and now our sources of entertainment as well, and instead of fixing our problem, we are rather catering to them.
If someone put a person in a room with a goldfish, and both the person and fish were asked to follow a red dot for as long as they can, the goldfish would win. That’s how bad the average person’s attention span has got.
You aren’t required to fix your attention span because people are more inclined to just adjust to you instead of forcing you to become better — for sports leagues its just about bringing in as much money.
An eight second attention span won’t cut it with your significant other, but soon enough all our communication will just be done through phones and emoji’s will takeover the English language.