I can track attention spans based on my experience in blogging alone, average attention spans have gone down in the 7 years or so that I’ve been blogging and I see them shrinking daily. I remember when it hit me that folks were commenting based on titles alone, it was clear that they hadn’t even read the first paragraph of the post. Then came the age of the “like” button and in my view, the death of valuable dialogue. The “like” button, or “recommend” as I have it on this blog, allows people to do say they like something without lifting a finger to make a comment. I can see the conversation has shifted from blogs to Facebook. It used to be that the amount of likes always corresponded to the comments, but those days are gone. Commenting, emails, phone calls, hate mail, tweets, etc…require some sort of attention span that we truly lack.
It’s not just me saying this from my own statistics, I can see it everywhere. My traffic isn’t down, just the attention spans and I have to admit that my own attention span is in the gutter as well. Unless you put a really good subject line in the email, I sometimes wait weeks, even months to open and respond to readers and fans. Sometimes, I glance at it, throw that gmail star on and never look at it again. When it comes to that darn like button, I kind of ignore it on most websites, I rarely comment and when I share something on Facebook it’s more about reminding myself to look at it. I doubt most people are being so honest.
I wonder what percentage of people who share articles or videos on social media sites are actually reading the whole thing. How often do we share something because we want others to think we are intelligent or cool? How often are we sharing, merely to garner attention or stir the pot. I never share things that I don’t read at least some of it, but it’s rare that I get to the end of the piece.
I was inspired to write about the subject of our lack of attention spans and increased “sharing” of things we didn’t read because I actually read an article in its entirety yesterday. It’s so rare that I can finish an article that didn’t have naked pictures, some Charedi scandal, or other pot stirring instances that I felt the need to give it such a lavish introduction.
Resolve to make a change Say Hello: I’m a big advocate of being friendly to peeps, so naturally I gravitate towards this sort of thing, but I’m also one of those who feel that we never know how much a simple smile or words of encouragement can have life altering effects.