How have our attention spans decreased?

The rapid growth of short form media and the affects it has.

While attempting to complete their coursework, a student hears their phone ring with several notifications. The student decides to take a 10-minute break because the noise was keeping them from finishing their assessment. As they continue to use their phone, they keep convincing themselves five minutes and I’ll start again.

The next day they take out their phones and lose focus while their teacher is speaking in class. They tell themselves they will do their work at home since they lack the drive to do it. The pattern repeats every week, sending the students down a downward spiral.

The lives of many students have been taken over by short form media, which has shortened our attention spans.




Hurrdat Marketing defines short form media as content that is less than 10 minutes long or 1000 words long. TikTok videos and Instagram posts are some examples of short-form media, unlike TV shows, movies, and novels that need more of your time and attention. People are turning away from books and towards their phones thanks to the growth of media like TikTok, Instagram reels, and YouTube Shorts.

Our attention spans have decreased by 25%, from 12 to 8 seconds, according to a Microsoft study. This indicates that we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish which has a 9 second span. The decreasing attention spans of today’s teenagers are clear to notice. Procrastination is one way this might express itself, and many students experience a deterioration of their work ethic and a decline in productivity as a result.

“When I procrastinate, I tell myself I will do it later, but the assignment never gets done that day,” Erin Ly a freshman at Canyon high school stated.

You might be wondering how the desire for short forms of media and declining attention spans are related. Reading lengthy books or watching a movie for an hour may be challenging for people whose attention spans are dissipating. Social media has revolutionized the globe because it is simple and quick to use, allowing users to surf aimlessly without having to pay close attention. Teenagers’ attention has been drawn to it by its quick pace, and it has progressively distracted us.

“I always procrastinate on my homework assignments especially when it’s the weekend or if I’m on break,” Ly explained.

People like the brief and quick nature of many social media platforms, and can also become quickly addicted to it. As a result, you spend hours scrolling. The risk with these kinds of platforms is that kids soon grow accustomed to receiving only brief snippets of information rather than the whole picture. They become distracted and are no longer used to longer chunks of information.

The shortening of students’ attention spans may potentially have an impact on their academic achievement as well. Teachers have been adapting to new teaching methods to account for the fact that it is getting harder for students to sit through lectures. As long as we continue to consume short form media, teen focus levels will continue to decline at larger rates than ever.