Researchers say the attention span of humans in the 1950s was 30 seconds or more. By 2000 it had plummeted to 12 seconds on its way to 8 seconds in 2015 before settling at 4.5 seconds today.
It won’t be long before we stop measuring the world’s attention span because there will be nothing to measure. We’ll stop counting and say our attention is the “BLINK OF AN EYE.”
But hold on…
I have always looked at the dropping-attention-span story with at least a little skepticism.
Of course I KNOW it has been plunging for a long time. But I strongly believe there is a new thread that must be added to the attention-deficit discussion—that is…the subject, task, and goal of our attention.
If our faith walk’s attention span is a mere 4.5 seconds, we do not have a faith walk.
What we look at and read and hear all have a huge impact on the state of our heart and action for the Kingdom.
The world desperately wants us attention today. The largest companies on the planet no longer sell oil and mousetraps. They sell our attention.
Facebook and Google and You-Tube and Amazon and Apple all want our attention focused on the billboards they send crawling across the pixels in our pocket.
For Christians, the discussion is not about the length of our attention span. It is about the focus of our attention. It is about how hard we fight to allow the words and truths of Christ into the cinema of our mind and the chambers of our heart.
Whatever wins that battle will shape who we are and what we do and why we do it.
I ask God to help me pay attention to HIM and fight off the competing images and thoughts and noise that would hijack what is truly important.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Whatever is on your attention screen today tells the story of who you will be tomorrow. Well…?
“We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1