It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Attention span in the digital age

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 11:55 AM
For a school research paper, i'm researching attention span in the digital age. I'm taking the viewpoint that the attention span is relative and does not actually exist. It's relative to the times and the culture.

Attention span is defined as: “the length of time you can concentrate on some idea or activity”. In our western based culture, it's very short with things like facebook, twitter, video games, etc. But in some African farming cultures, they have longer attention spans because they need to in order to farm. Attention span is a relative construct and not absolute.

Any good links or advice for the paper?

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 11:59 AM
reply to post by mossme89


Attention span is purely based on your NEED to survive............ we live in a world of distractions and for most in the West that is fine becuase we are not in imiment danger for our lives........

In other parts of the world where life expectancy is short then yu find those people alot more Aware and focussed on their surroundings..... The same is true of the animal kingdom for the most part...



posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 12:05 PM
I'm sorry, what was your question? I got sidetracked

Remember that Google is your friend. Especially when researching something.

Try e-zine articles.

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by mossme89

This guy talked in great length about how a short attention span can be very helpful, very useful to help a person understand new things and live a good life. Maybe its possible that a short attention span is actually preferable because of benefits that are not so obvious.

To give a practical example its very helpful for a long distance runner to disassociate , in effect meditate during a run, lose concentration and then have an increase in performance.

On the other hand research the length of political soundbites over the last 40 years, I think they are now 10 seconds down from 30 seconds.


PS Think about the Eruka moment of Einstein, do you think he was deep in concentration or lost in thought or are they the same?

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 12:24 PM
I'd be sure to mention the MTV style editing which seems so popular these days, with few scenes lasting longer than 2 or 3 seconds.
I think that would be right in line with your project.

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 12:26 PM
Do you think we are born with a pre-determined attention span or it is something we learn?

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 12:35 PM
Man I didn't even have time to read all the way through your OP.
Too many sentences.

posted on Feb, 26 2011 @ 12:39 PM
reply to post by mossme89

Attention span depends very much on the environment, habits, training of the ability to concentrate.

For example, a child used to spend a lot of time in front of TV will have a much short attention span than a child who spend a great deal of time reading. Why? The images on TV screen are fast flashes of information, with a duration from 3-5 seconds (MTV) up to 10 seconds; the brain has no time to analyze and concentrate on the information received before the next image. So in time the brain forms a habit to not linger more than 10 seconds on an image or a piece of information; thus a very short attention span. As opposed to reading, where the brain not only must concentrate on what is written, but also must use other resources like imagination.

Yet the short attention span can, with some training, be corrected and the child's brain will learn again to concentrate if you throw away the TV and give him no other choice. We adapt.

In the digital age, as you put it, we are, most of the time, confronted with an intense stream of information from different sources in a very short time frame, so the brain works less on concentrating and more on processing all those different inputs.

But in some African farming cultures, they have longer attention spans because they need to in order to farm.

It's because, by the nature of their life style, their brain have much less informational inputs to process, so it's used to take the time to properly concentrate to the given task. Much less informational stress.

There are more interesting angles to this topic; with a little online research you can easily find it.
Hope it helps.
edit on 26-2-2011 by WhiteHat because: (no reason given)

new topics

top topics


log in