Microsoft Says Short Attention Spans Are Fine - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Says Short Attention Spans Are Fine
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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
5/19/2015 | 3:48:08 PM
Re: Microsoft Says Short Attention Spans Are Fine
Sometimes (well, most of the time) I prefer task-switching, especially when my to-do list is long. If I focus too long on one project, I start to worry about all the other things I'm not doing. Breaking up each activity into chunks seems more productive, even if I'm only doing a little at a time.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/19/2015 | 3:06:50 PM
Re: Microsoft Says Short Attention Spans Are Fine
@Broadway0474- Yes, true multi-tasking as I think we define it is still dificult to impossible. But task switching quickly is possible. You brain just breaks stuff up into tasks differently than we describe them with language. But I wouldn't try to write a story while juggling knives and singing the Friends theme. There are limits. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/19/2015 | 3:04:41 PM
Re: Attention Spans: Sad for Man, Great for Goldfish
@technocrati- Well, if we're in direct competition with goldfish, I know the solution. Give them smartphones.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/19/2015 | 2:57:34 PM
Re: Microsoft Says Short Attention Spans Are Fine
@Kelly22- Right, the alternative is to reject the technology which is cool. But it clearly isn't currently happening. If we want to go back to books and scrolls, our attention span will go up again, and pretty fast apparently.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
5/19/2015 | 1:42:03 PM
Re: Microsoft Says Short Attention Spans Are Fine
At first, it seems strange to interpret this as good news. How could we be happy about our attention spans getting shorter? But you make a good point in saying that this is the world we have created. With emails, text messages and news updates popping up every few minutes (/seconds), our attention is being pulled in multiple directions at once - and that technology isn't going away. If we couldn't adapt, that would be a bad sign for the future.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
5/18/2015 | 10:40:13 PM
Of course Microsoft supports a short attention span.......
.....it helps you forget just how many updates you have installed.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
5/18/2015 | 10:36:30 PM
Attention Spans: Sad for Man, Great for Goldfish
"....the human attention span .......is now 1 second less than the attention span of a goldfish."

I knew I could count on you Dave to catch this one, when I first heard this headline, I really could not believe my ears.

But after thinking about it awhile ( apparently 7.5 secs before my attention would turn to the latest new wonder) - It was easily understandable, this discovery explains alot assuming it is somewhat true and I do think it is reasonably close.

The old saying of "Dumb as a rock" might not be that far off either.

This is a sad day for mankind in my opinion and a great day for goldfish in general.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
5/18/2015 | 10:16:30 PM
Re: Microsoft Says Short Attention Spans Are Fine
David, thanks for the detailed explanation. I suppose I am stuck on the notion (perhaps specious) that multitasking is actually impossible. But what you're saying is that we can concentrate on one thing at a time still, but we can do it quicker before we move to the next thing. SO ... multitasking is still impossible, right?
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
5/18/2015 | 2:27:20 PM
Re: One second less than the attention span of a goldfish?
@David yes, it's not natural for humans, especially young humans, to sit and stay focused for hours. I saw a video today of a school that is very successful at reaching its students, in part, by encouraging them to move and dance around in the class. See the video on Ron Clark Academy here 

 

David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/18/2015 | 2:12:47 PM
Re: One second less than the attention span of a goldfish?
@ariella- I think doodling is a good analogy. Also fidgeting. There's been some evidence that fidgeting or even getting up and walking around helps us learn rather than sitting still.
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