4 Reasons Why Phones Affect the Millennial Attention Span
Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, there’s no debating that. We want information more accessible and faster every day, but why is that? What could possibly be enabling our seemingly insatiable hunger for quick information and results? The short answer is your phone. Now the longer answer is you, you’re the reason. It’s not entirely your fault, though! Just like cavemen got introduced to fire and had their lives forever changed, we got introduced the iPhone 11 Max. We’ve taken the liberty of researching four reasons that the mini-computer in your pocket can be affecting your attention span.
1. We look at our phones a lot...like A LOT
We Americans check our phones 80 times per day on average, or about once every 12 minutes. This is honestly less than we thought if that tells you anything. It gets worse the younger you are though, with millennials checking their phone on average 150 times per day, almost double the American average! We would have to agree that we look at our phones WAY too much.
2. The world is at our fingertips
Undeniably, this is a positive thing. You can now send emojis to people across the world, google any weird questions that pop into your mind throughout the day or FaceTime Aunt Sally from Florida, and all this can be done instantly. Now, when reflecting on this, fact number one makes more sense! We check our phones so much because, without sounding corny, we have lots of power when we do. With all those positives come some negatives, most specifically, our attention span. Why should we hold 30-minute conversations or wait 30 minutes for results when we can do it all in 30 seconds with our phone?
3. People, conversations, meetings, oh my!
This point isn’t necessarily affecting our attention spans directly, but rather is an indicator of how we shy away from speaking too long or completing lengthy tasks. Turns out using our phones too much leads to social anxiety and stress, but even more so when the phone is taken away! One particular test showed that peoples' stress levels go through the roof when phones are taken away. With this finding, it’s easy to see the connection between long phone usage and decreased attention spans. It’s because doing tasks that take too “long” means you have to be away from your phone for longer than 15 minutes, which in some cases, can literally cause you anxiety.
4. Our phones are blowing up
We get notifications all the time - emails, DMs, texts, calls, everything! Research has shown that our brains are slowly becoming more and more wired to pay attention to those slight vibrations or rings our phone gives rather than the physical happenings around us. That’s why you might find yourself in the middle of a conversation having to hit someone with that “sorry one second” to respond to your phone.
The goal here wasn’t to bash on all phone users and millennials. We live in a modern world where it’s either catch up or get left behind. This is just an effort to remind you to work a bit on putting your phone down here and there and do the whole “read a book routine.” Just take the time to talk to somebody with no phones, it’s actually a pretty chill feeling! We can make an exception for you to follow us on the gram at @thisisuproar.