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Attention Span: How Do Today’s Teenagers’ Compare to That of the 1990s?

Who do you think came out on top?

Jelena Aloskina/Shutterstock

Comparing the attention span of teenagers from the 1990s and teenagers now, the comparison is astounding.

The Introduction of the Internet

In April 1993, the World Wide Web announced it was to be made public. The internet was invented in 1989 by Tim Berner’s Lee but, at that stage, it was mainly used by scholars. After the debut of the internet, the global attention span rapidly decreased.

“According to research, our attention span has markedly decreased in just 15 years. In 2000, it was 12 seconds. Now, 15 years later, it’s shrunk significantly to 8.25 seconds.

Wyzowol/Adam Hayes

According to Wyzowol’s research, our attention span has become lower than that of a goldfish. A goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds, while we now have one that has shrunk to 8.25 seconds. This attention span decrease can be added up to multiple things.

The impact of technology is one of the main reasons for this. Present-day teenagers are used to getting any information they need in seconds online. While it is fantastic that we have all this information at our fingertips, it also damages and hinders our ability to talk to people in real life and decreases our attention span.

In the 1990s, teenagers were used to experiencing life in the moment. Nowadays, teenagers are trapped in viewing other people’s lives in a little box that takes up all their attention span.

Tik Tok

YouTube/Upper Echelon

All social media has had an effect on the attention span of this generation. However, TikTok is the platform that has really been shrinking our attention span in recent years. TikTok is a social media platform where users post short ten to ninety seconds videos about life hacks, new music, traveling, dancing, films, or comedy. Users can then scroll for hours through brief videos that interest them.

As a result, TikTok seems to be destroying an entirely new generation’s attention spans. The most lengthy video on Tik Tok can only be ten minutes long, which means that people using TikTok only have enough interest to watch a short video rather than watch a television show or read a book. TikTok has 30.8 million daily users on iOS alone, and the number grows every day. TikTok is making people socially inept and is causing people to only be able to pay attention to seconds from another person’s life rather than living their own.

In conclusion, it has become clear that our attention span has been decreasing rapidly for years and is continuing to decrease. Even though the Internet and technology have many pros for society, they are also two of the main reasons for our shrinking attention span.

Out of the many social media platforms, Tik Tok is the main app that is destroying young people’s social skills and attention spans. If in fifteen years our attention span has managed to decrease by approximately four seconds, who knows what our attention span in fifteen more years will be?

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