Our love of instant gratification has hammered down our attention span. Heavy Metal is here to tell you.
National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" talked with Adam Alter, who wrote the new book, "Irresistible." Here's his quote: “Ten years ago, before the iPad and iPhone were mainstream, the average person had an attention span of about 12 seconds.” Today, he said: “Research suggests that there's been a drop from 12 to eight seconds … shorter than the attention of the average goldfish, which is nine seconds.”
Now, we already knew this, intuitively. But you should agree that it's great that researchers now are issuing formal reports: How have computers impacted people?
Another book I highly recommend is: "The Cyber Effect," by Mary Aiken, an expert in forensic cyberpsychology. She looks at the intersection of how technology and human behavior meet. Heavy Metal says, there's a crash coming to that intersection.
But the smashup (a T-bone, if not a head-on collision) has already come. Her first chapter is titled, “The Normalization of a Fetish.” And it goes down from there. Another chapter: “Frankenstein and the Little Girl.”
This sad news is bad for society, clearly. What does this mean to plastics? To all manufacturing? It's huge. Say you have to make a mold or work on an injection molding machine. But then your phone pings and shows you graphic news stories about death and funny cat videos?
You have to focus in a factory. I worked at a small factory between high school and college. If your mind wandered, you could crush a finger. The message was simple: Concentrate on your job.
We've written a lot about how to find the new younger workforce. Now research is showing the next challenge: Getting them to pay attention for hours at a time. Concentrate.