The Shrinking Attention Span
The Shrinking Attention Span
How many of you have thought about the shrinking attention span of the American public?
Not just social media and millennials, but every single person!
The deep-thinkers out there most likely have noticed that the “average” attention span of a typical person out and about has dwindled to nanoseconds.
What’s going on, people?
Has conversation died?
Over the past half-decade, I’ve paid very close attention to not only my own interactions with people but with countless others as well.
From my own perspective – I’ve witnessed the “ability” to listen to other people speak almost vanish.
The necessity to “interrupt” someone speaking has reached an all-time high. Rather than “listening” to a human beings viewpoint on a particular subject, most conversational participants now INSTANTLY interrupt another person the moment they hear something that isn’t congruent with their own thoughts.
After that, the conversation dissolves and turns into a non-productive “debate” or whatever you want to call it.
What is listening? Why does it matter?
Well, first off, listening isn’t just “hearing” someone else. It’s about UNDERSTANDING their perspective. Not just from your shoes, but from their shoes as well.
Secondly – listening is not just about that understanding – but it’s also about CONTEMPLATING about their thoughts as well.
Those things often take time to “digest” in order to TRULY understand a collection of words and feelings.
In other words, you take those tidbits of information back into your brain – and contemplate about them (cook, stew, simmer if need be), and reach a conclusion at a later date.
NOT ALL ideas, thoughts, opinions or scientific theories NEED an immediate response “YAY” or “NAY,” you know what I mean?
TODAY? Everything demands an instant respose
For this – I have no problem “blaming” the effect that technology has had on society as a whole. We’re used to instant responses and answers. “Googling” our lives down the toilet bowls.
Can you see how that has radically changed how people converse? Or even just use their minds?
ALSO, conversations today are “nuggetized” – no long-term philosophical battles
Back in the day – people promoted ideas. They hashed them out. They fought for their ideals.
People had philosophical ideas that they debated. Those ideas shifted, changed, were fluid for the most part. People accepted their wrongs and rights quite nobly.
And also – hardly anyone needed a subject to “be settled” on the spot. Most folks were okay for topics to hold an ongoing “undecided” status while the debate continued. It was part of the fun and mystery about coming to a formidable conclusion about that point.
Today – most conversations are polarized. Everyone thinks they “know” everything. And you’re either on “this side” or “that side.” Anyone that brings up great ideas why one, the other or BOTH are wrong – is ushered out of that virtual room.
That is horrible and detrimental to society as a whole.