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Does the Internet shatter attention spans?

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posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 08:25 PM
This is not a new article, but I find it interesting nonetheless. In it, the author describes how using the Internet has damaged his attention span...where he once read books cover to cover, he now skims them, etc. He also ruminates on changes in technology in general and how they impact our mind...the shift from written scribe work to printing press changed the way people read and processed info, so why shouldn't the internet? He discusses possible positives as well as negatives. All in all, a thoughtful piece:


Nobody likes to admit their attention span isn't all it should be...I can still pull off great feats of concentration and read a book cover-to-cover, but I must admit the constant clicking between this site and that, the endless "surfing" of massive amounts of information has changed the way I seems to promote more of a sense of "collecting chunks of information" and less of a sense of "rumination" and lingering over texts poetically...who has time to savor Proust, as the author notes?

Any thoughts?

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 08:28 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

I'm sorry...what did you say?

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 08:32 PM
I hope not... if it's true, you are going to have a very very small response level.


The internet is a breeding ground for people who desire immediate gratification, now now now. I don't think this is a negative thing, and it wouldn't shatter attention spans.

Then again, if people come across something that they would rather not deal with... CLICK... it's gone!

On the opposite side, you have the researchers and scholars... the people who see the internet as a wealth of information. Again, no reduced attention spans, as we are constantly reading and studying and making comparisons.

The only thing I have noticed with the internet is how it makes addicts out of some. Their whole lives revolve around their computers and modems. How in the heck did our grandparents ever meet? How did we survive by going to the library?

The internet, if anything, creates this false world that draws in kids (20s on down), that makes it difficult for them to associate with real people in real life.

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 09:12 PM
I agree. I call it "micro-impatience." Instant gratification isn't fast enough.

If you ever watched the Original Max Headroom pilot from England. (Before it became an American mainstream commercialized crapbasket) TV Ads were called blipverts, They compressed massive amounts of information in :01 to :02 seconds. And the dumb masses who watched them had their heads explode from information overload.

If a YouTube video is over 3 minutes, I'm dozing off.

Our entire society has ADD. Soon we'll want it yesterday.

Great thread.

[edit on 21-7-2009 by kinda kurious]

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 09:13 PM
It definately does. First it was commercials, then it was crappy commercials, and now my interest only need be piqued fora couple of hey wanna go for a bike ride?

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 09:26 PM
I have ADHD.

It's pretty much perfect for me.

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 09:32 PM
UUUUHHHhhh.......... I like pie.Think this guy got his brain fried but I'm gonna say it wasn't from the internet. Its been shown when your not looking at porn 24/7 that you actually learn more. lol

[edit on 10-04-08 by Beach Bum]

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 09:44 PM
I always did have problems with reading anyway. I much prefer watching movies or videos. Not that I can recall details.

I still have trouble reading posts here. But I think my writing skills have improved from my previous grade school level. So, I guess it depends. Maybe you drink too much caffeine?

[edit on 21-7-2009 by aleon1018]

posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 09:47 PM
In some ways I would say so, but I do quite a bit of reading online now instead of watching videos, I don't know why just got tired of youtube and such. Though I think it also has to be at the right time of night for me to enjoy reading. For example, I love reading when it's about 3 AM in the morning house is dead quiet and either nothing is going on outside or it's raining (whether light drizzle or pouring). Most of the time I usually read things from here to, but I opt out from posting

Anyway as I type this now I'm actually playing a game on my Playstation Portable so I'm not sure if that would count as a loss of attention or not

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 12:06 PM
Why hasn't this thread been moved to BTS yet? Just kidding.

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 12:11 PM
i sit and read for hours. I think it actualy cured me of my ADD. The internet is infinity interesting and engaging. .

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 12:31 PM
This is quite interesting, I almost suspect that its impossible to approach things with a single-track-mind when the internet is concerned. I typically have several tabs on my browser open: one for facebook, one to ATS, another to Wunderground, and then at least two more random ones, sometimes more if I'm doing programming and need to have references open to consult. I hop back and forth between information sources on the web because the dynamic ones don't always update at the same time so I can be reading one while another is updating.

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