We Finally Did It! Canadians Now Have Shorter Attention Spans Than Goldfish

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Everyone is by now aware of the real reason for the invention of the smartphone: to slowly erode human attention spans until we stand inferior to the lowly goldfish.

Rejoice! According to a new study from Microsoft, Canadians’ attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000—already miserable—to a mere eight seconds today (downright pathetic!). Goldfish everywhere are mocking us until, nine seconds later, they forget the subject of their mockery.

Things like social media, mobile devices, and utter stupidity are to blame for our reduced focus, the study says (the stupidity is implied). In particular, Canadians who lead “more digital lifestyles”—AKA the multi-screen-toting, early-adopting, media-consuming, social media whackos—have seen the sharpest decline in attention.

Moreover, Microsoft says we are displaying addiction-like behaviours. No kidding. The study says 77% of young people reach for their phone by default when bored; more than half check their phone at least every half hour; and almost everyone uses portable devices while “watching” television.

This is all pretty worrying to me, and I for one believe we must—wait, what was I talking about? Hey, look, a new tweet!

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