One of the biggest knocks on my generation and subsequent generations is that our attention spans are short. With the proliferation of the digital world, all of the information we need is right at our fingertips. Infographics, tweets, lists, etc. replace traditional (and longer) means of information and media that we used to consume.
I wish I could say I haven’t succumbed to this stereotype of my demographic but when I examine myself I can’t deny it.
I have several examples but let me start with the one that got me to write about this today. I started off watching the Grease Live special on Fox last night. It was supposed to be one of the entertainment spectacles of the year. I was bored just 15 minutes in. How could this be? The show was live, the different moving pieces of the production proved fascinating, and Vanessa Hudgens gave a performance of a lifetime just hours after her dad passed away. It didn’t matter to me, my attention was not kept. The exact same thing happened to me when I tried to watch “The Wiz” a couple months back. Before the first commercial break I had already zoned out.
As I mentioned in this blog last week, I only look for two things when I decide on a movie I want to watch. The item that is relevant for this post is the running time of the movie. If the film goes over two hours I typically choose something else. For me, the 85-95 minute duration is ideal.
When I go to sleep, my reading routine has turned rather pathetic. Back in the day I would easily read 50 pages. Fast forward to today and I consider the night a success if I simply reach double digits in pages read. Of course some of this centers on fatigue but a portion also sits on a dwindling attention span.
Even when it comes to the debates that I have written about on more than one occasion with glowing admiration, I find myself losing focus. I applaud Donald Trump for demanding that the debates be shortened. My interest starts to dwindle after the first few rounds of questions. An affair that lasts over two hours is just too long for a person of my patience.
Want to talk about work? My mind goes crazy when meetings drag on. After 90 minutes pass I feel myself sinking into my chair. Luckily most of my meetings don’t reach this point as I just don’t do well confined between four walls while sitting around a conference table for long periods of time.
Most embarrassing of all, I even get bored watching a sporting event on television from start to finish. Although for select games I have no problem sitting through it all, a majority of the contests I turn on won’t capture my attention for all four quarters. Dang, I hate to admit that.
I can’t hide it, I am a product of my generation. Hold me down for a given period of time and I start to get squirmy, bored, and detached. It is something to work on? Definitely. Don’t Blink.