The average goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds — the average person on-line, just 8 seconds… Read on for my 5 Ways to become a Top Fish and get those Smarts back!
We now live in the extreme present — The future is already here and happening faster than we can imagine.
We need however to recognise the noise as noise and see the world for what it is — But how can we do that with those mobile devices and their filters that over the past few years we’ve come so totally to rely on?
Indeed, 46% of smartphone users in the US admit they couldn’t live without them.
‘Electric Cocaine’ is how Dr Peter Whybrow, Director of Neuroscience at UCLA refers to screens, and here’s some of the reasons why…
But why so?
It’s not all about making calls or to get news, that’s more of a by-product.
One reason may be that more & more people are using their phones & tablets for financial transactions.
I believe when you look at some of the stats however it’s more to do with updating our status on Facebook, sharing tweets with our followers on Twitter, uploading our videos onto YouTube, ensuring that our LinkedIn profile is all singing and all dancing, and checking ourselves and everyone else out on Instagram.
For example Re Facebook
And then of course there’s also Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, Snapchat & Whats App etc etc all vying for our attention and time.
Life is complex, highly complex
Whatever is driving this behavior though, the bottom line is we live in an interconnected, interdependent, inter-related world — an era of unprecedented connectivity.
By 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices worldwide.
Smartphones have become a ubiquitous global presence and having one can put the world and all the information we can access at our fingertips.
We can be constantly connected to faraway friends, endless entertainment, check the weather from our bed — even trade stocks, and gossip while stuck in traffic.
We can browse potential romantic partners between appointments, make online purchases while standing in-store, and live-stream each others’ experiences, in real time, from opposite sides of the globe.
And whilst just a decade ago, this state of constant connection would have been inconceivable, today it is seemingly indispensable…
But this isn’t necessarily making us any smarter
In fact, far from it!
A recent study conducted by the University of Texas, Austin, found that cognitive capacity and overall brain power were significantly reduced when a smartphone was within glancing distance — even if it was turned off and face down!
Researchers found that participants in the study who left their smartphone in another room while taking a test to gauge attentional control and cognitive processes demonstrated a significantly improved ability to hold and process data.
And even those who kept their phones in a pocket or bag also outperformed those who kept their phones on the desk while taking the same test.
None of this should surprise us though
We are all slaves to a screen both in our own time and in our work time.
An office worker checks their email 30–40 times an hour and the knowledge that we have an unread message in our Inbox can reduce our effective IQ in real time by +10%.
Meanwhile the average employee spends just 11 minutes on a task before switching, and a Fortune 500 CEO’s day is so chopped up by emails and meetings, that they only have 28 uninterrupted minutes a day.
So what can we do about it?
Well here’s my 5 Ways to become a Top Fish & get those Smarts back:
Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at [email protected] and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com