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Is modern technology really zapping our ability to concentrate?

Having the attention span of a goldfish may not be your own fault. Is the internet and advancement of technology causing this?

book that says 'my brain has too many tabs open' representing lack of ability to concentrate due to technology.

We’re sure you’ve heard of “mindless scrolling,” and a lot of us are guilty of it. Though it’s really easy to get stuck in the cycle of scrolling through our feeds with no real goal or purpose, it could be hurting us in both short and long-term aspects. With the intensity of modern technology pulling at our eyes, ears, and fingertips, many of us are stuck in an endless cycle of brain fog, but can’t seem to put down our devices enough to make a difference.

Technology is changing, and rapidly. The tech industry is booming with new devices and gadgets coming out faster than lightning. From needing to take breaks from our computers because of headaches and an overwhelming feeling of losing focus, it’s apparent that the modern human has difficulty paying attention. 

In early 2022, the Center for Attention Studies at King’s College London found that about 49% of two thousand people studied felt their attention span was shorter than it was in the past. Almost as many (47%) agreed that “deep thinking” is a rare occurrence. This is an isolated study that’s impossible to quantify – we have no true measure of attention or thoughtful thinking, but the response proves that we’ve noticed something is different. 

Most of us have felt this way, right?

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Whether you’re working an office job, remotely, or even not working at all, we’re all feeling this to some level.

Doctors have reported noticing patients struggle with distraction and loss of ability to focus, and more and more people feel like it’s an issue worth bringing up. Whether loss of attention is related to technology directly or what some would say, “a lack of self-control,” it’s a problem that we’re just beginning to analyze and address. Some don’t agree with either assumption, however, believing that technology evolved so quickly that we’ve struggled to safeguard ourselves.

On average, people shift their attention every three minutes. When using technology, it’s even faster. Simply put,” Gloria Mark, Psychologist, writes in her book, “our personal use of technologies affects our ability to pay attention.”

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Macie LaCau is a passionate writer, herbal educator, and dog enthusiast. She spends most of her time overthinking and watering her tiny tomatoes.


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