Are you smarter than a goldfish? How tech dangerously affects attention span

Recent studies at the National center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, show that the average attention span of humans has dropped drastically, from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds as of today. According to MarketingInsiderGroup.com, That is one second lower than that of a goldfish, which has an impressive (for a fish) attention span of 9 seconds. Has technology created this large drop in attention spans for humans?

Everywhere you go, on the bus, at school, in a coffee shop, the majority of people are on their phones. Granted they are most likely snapchatting friends or texting with their significant other, but they are completely oblivious to all the people around them. We are connected with each other, yes, but not in the way we used to be. Movies from the 70s and 80s show teens hanging out with each other at soda shops, going to drive-in movies, etcetera.

Nowadays, teens seem to simply go over to each other’s houses to be next to each other while they play on their phones, only taking a break from their mindless scrolling to say, “Dude, look at this tweet”. Another huge problem with technology is texting while driving. The cell phones are glued to our hands; we have so much need for constant mind stimulation that we are willing to risk our lives by sending a text or a snapchat while driving, even though we know it can wait. The inability people have to tear their eyes away from their screen is ending lives, which further proves the danger of technology.

Although, now, we are more connected than ever. Everyday lives are saved by the incredible technology of today, from improved cancer treatments, to the simple ability for us to call 911 from anywhere. Everyday doctors work to find cures for diseases like cancer and diabetes, all thanks to our constantly improving technology and resources that are available.

The movie Wall-E is a great example of the benefits and dangers of technology. The people in the movie are fat and lazy, and all they do is eat and facetime each other. However, due to the incredible technology, the entire human race was able to be saved from a world that was, ironically, destroyed by too much technology.

It can be argued for ages from both sides that new technology is either good or bad, because there is a long list of advantages, as well as a long list of instabilities. Although, no matter what, technology will keep improving and those lists will keep getting longer. The decision is, whether or not you’re going to be smarter than a goldfish, and use the technology for good.

Written by Kayleigh Dodson

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