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Short attention span: Effects of social media

. 6 min read

Ever feel like you cannot focus? Do you think you have a shorter attention span than the attention span of goldfish? And do you wonder how to increase your attention span? Well, you are not alone!

The human attention span is disturbingly low. According to a study conducted by Microsoft, a duration of 8 seconds on average is all it takes for an individual to lose focus.

Now think about the last time you were on a social media platform. How long ago was it? The answer to this question varies from person to person. Given the increasing dependency of the general public on social media as a tool to relay information, it was most likely within the last hour.

Studies show that chronic exposure to social media promotes a shortening of attention span. Stick around to find out why this is the case, followed by tips on managing your social media activity.

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How does social media shorten your attention span?

The term attention means to take notice or pique interest. A noteworthy fact is that individuals can choose how to distribute their attention across multiple tasks. However, there is a certain level of bias when selecting what activities or perceived information to focus on. This bias is a measure of your marginal propensity to consider any perceived information as significant.

Furthermore, this measurement is influenced by an extensive array of external factors such as color, imagery, message, context, and desire. With the right tools, it is possible to design captivating posts that relay some intended message.

Social media provides a platform where people share their ideas. The broad reach of social media makes it ideal for marketing and sharing captivating posts.

So you might ask yourself, what is the problem here? Well, the answer to that is complicated. Yes, social media was initially intended to overcome the difficulties of long-distance communication and as a tool to keep up with contemporary trends. It is only a tool for advertising and communicating.

Naturally, it also provided businesses with an audience and a platform for online marketing. However, given the amount of time an average human spends on social media in a day, there are several detrimental side effects of prolonged social media usage.

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Social media overloading

Firstly, social media overloads the information processing capacity of an average human brain. This is a plausible statement because of the voluminous amount of content available to us on various social media platforms.

In such a chaotic environment, an individual cannot focus on multiple posts on a single page. This causes the brain to exhibit a short but rapid focus pattern to optimize multitasking and induces quick boredom.

So many stimulus to coop with

Secondly, the large amount of incoming stimulus overwhelms the human brain. It promotes skim-based behavior, causing individuals to focus on one thing for a brief period before moving on to the next.

Ultimately, too much of anything is not beneficial for you, and this applies to social media. Chronic exposure can aggravate several detrimental side effects of social media, leading to a short attention span, like the attention span of goldfish.

What does this mean for your follower? The most effective way to get your messages across to them is to use comprehensive social media management tools.

Carefully scheduling captivating posts and displaying the right information in the correct order is the way to get through to them. So check out what we have to offer at Circleboom.

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How to increase the attention span?

How to increase attention span then? Given what you have read so far, the most direct approach to correcting short attention spans would be to multitask less; this is indeed logical.

However, the average number of tasks and environments that an individual is exposed to daily makes this quite difficult. Thus, an alternative approach would be to manage your daily activities in a way that minimizes the necessity to multitask, starting from reducing time spent on social media.

The most vulnerable demographic to short attention spans is children, given the youth's dependency on technology nowadays.

As a parent, the best course of action is to give your child a controlled social media experience. By using the tools from Circleboom,  control the posts your children are exposed to on social media.

When you feel overwhelmed and find that maintaining focus on one thing feels impossible, try to take a breather first and start small. A short attention span is difficult to overcome. However, it is possible to train the brain to pay more attention to details with enough effort.

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It always helps to try and take a moment to maintain focus on a single thought.  A practice that may increase a short attention span is trying to complete tasks in a specific order and sticking to that pattern. Incomplete tasks tend to occupy your headspace and disrupt your focus.

As a social media influencer, do not lose focus on your intentions and goals with Circleboom. Schedule your posts ahead of time. Do not let your social media presence disrupt your daily activities.

Social media can be a powerful and disturbingly captivating tool that presents an individual with the opportunity to voice their thoughts. The far­ reaching audience that such platforms provide makes social media a lucrative marketing opportunity for businesses to exploit. Hence, it is easy to get captivated by posts and lose track of time.

Note that Circleboom cares about you and provides you with the tools to manage your social media presence via a user-friendly interface.

Circleboom provides account analytics, follower/friends insights, tools to find fakes, spammers, inactive accounts, and smart search tools to find new peers.

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Final Notes

The easy availability of a voluminous amount of information causes an individual to adapt to a short attention span. This causes an individual to focus on a given post momentarily before moving on to the next. Chronic social media exposure can make this detrimental by causing you to project this short attention span to all other everyday tasks.

It is crucial to control the content your clients or your children are exposed to. Circleboom offers an entire range of tools to manage social media accounts.

Manage the people who view your content and distribute it across social media through our account analytics and follower management tools. Find new peers that share your interests and use built-in tools to manage your content. We have what you need.

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Kevin O. Frank

Co-founder and Product Owner @circleboom #DataAnalysis #onlinejournalism #DigitalDiplomacy #CrisesCommunication #newmedia

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