Attention! Attention to your Attention Span!

Let me ask you: “Do you feel the urge to check your latest Facebook friends’ updates, news-feeds or Instagram photos—on the go?

And do you succumb to this urge; thereby coincidentally increasing the probability of eliminating yourself—prematurely—from the gene pool?”

The choice is yours.

Incidentally, according to a new study, I should end this blog post now, because you have an attention span of only 8 seconds. 

Huh?  What did you say? 

Still, let me to try to hold your attention for a while longer:What did you say?

I am always astounded by the apparently hypnotic effect our ‘electronic helpers’ or ‘engineered addictives’ have on us.  Because I often see cars ahead of me, swerving so erratically that I fear for people’s safety.

Without much exception, drivers fiddling with their handphones or their GPS or both (yes, there seem to be real muti-taskers out there) are the cause of this unerotic ‘car dance’.

I ask you: “Was that perceived latest information or that phone call really more important than your own or other people’s life?”

I dare, on your behalf, to answer with a “No, absolutely not!”

Because you shouldn’t focus on “taking care of your own business” while you are driving.  Don’t Tacomob and drive.

Nevertheless, why do they (I am positive that you are not one of the guilty ones) still do it?This is highly illogical

Are they bored while driving?  Do they prefer to amuse themselves to death instead?  Are they slaves to their phones?

Or are they simply unaware of the meters their car would travel, while they are‘just for a second’checking their gadget/s?

The German Automobile Association recently published this alarming chart:

how many metres

Fortunately for us, the 7 seconds on the handphone is almost the maximum attention span an average human is capable of nowadays.

According to a new study from Microsoft (conducted in Canada*), it has dwindled from the average 12 seconds in 2000to 8 seconds in 2013.  This means that we are now officially beaten by dear old Goldfish, who is said to have a 9-second attention span.

Goldfish wins, Gold Person loses

Congratulations to us all for that milestone in human achievements!

You may ask now: “And what does this shortened attention span have to do with investing and stock trading?”  I am certain that you will draw the right conclusion for yourself from this info.

I apologize, I have to blog off now.  Just thought about what to have for lunch, shortly after I completed that imaginary 10 km jog in my mind and thinking about getting myself a gold fish, who might give me more attention than my junior family members do.


“Why does everything take longer than my attention span?” — Unknown

“We live in the world of smart phones and stupid people.” — Unknown

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” – Herbert Simon


*Study: Microsoft study

Footnote: No actual goldfish was harmed in the construction of this blog entry.   Also, I have nothing personal against Beyonce (if that would be her in that photograph?).


  1. Hi Andy,

    For most times since the evolution of smart phones, we are attentive in things that essentially requires little attention.

    Those that requires more attention were often neglected.

    A family dinner with all members’ eyes glued to smart devices! – Common sight!

    I once read somewhere that Steve Jobs or many of the major technology companies leaders forbid their children spending time on their smart devices, or at least they used it only when they are 100% focused on it for a pre-determined period of time in a day or for a specific task. And to know that these are the great inventors of smart devices.

    No wonder they are smarter.

    • Hi Rolf,

      I couldn’t agree more.

      Apparently they know how to spend their time in a more productive and smarter manner by not falling for the addictiveness of their own creations. This really should make all of us think.

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