ARE YOU AS SMART AS A GOLDFISH?
There’s something fishy about social media. It isn’t just that you can filter your Facebook posts so your colleagues don’t see your sunbathing pictures, and it’s not about those people who spend Thursday nights stalking their exes online. I’m talking about the shocking news that our attention span is now only eight seconds because of our over-reliance on smartphones and gadgets. That’s a second less than a goldfish’s attention span and down from 12 seconds in 2000. A study by Microsoft shows that the distraction of phone calls, texts, messages, Instagram images, tweets, notifications and emails have a profoundly detrimental effect on our work and private lives. Many of us – especially ‘digital natives’, that is, tweens and teenagers – are now so addicted to social media we actually suffer from ‘phantom text syndrome’ where we falsely think we’ve heard an alert from our phone and so keep checking.
Technology is even affecting the way our children socialise. They now text their friends twice as much as they talk to them, and rely on those messages as a constant reminder that they’re popular. We’re heading for overload, experts warn, saying that it takes us up to 25 minutes to get back to full working mode after each social media interaction/distraction. So while we might think we’re multitasking by texting in front of a computer, or TV, we’re actually slowing our brain down, meaning it takes longer to finish any task.
The answer? According to our fascinating article on page 22, it’s simple: switch off. That way you can focus on the project at hand, and think properly rather than rush through a multitude of dazed and confused overlapping tasks. I’m about to embrace the off button to avoid goldfish syndrome as it’s sink or swim time!
Until next week,
We’re heading for INFORMATION OVERLOAD, experts warn, saying that it takes us UP TO 25 MINUTES to get back to FULL WORKING MODE after EACH SOCIAL MEDIA interaction