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Why Our Generation’s Attention Span is Doomed

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to focus on one task for an extended period of time. Our generation is constantly bombarded with notifications from various devices, social media, and endless streams of information, making it harder to maintain a sustained level of attention. As a result, our attention span is declining, and this is having a significant impact on our lives. 

One of the main culprits of our dwindling attention span is social media. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are designed to be addictive, with endless scrolling features and notifications that constantly remind us to check for updates. As a result, we find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through our feeds, consuming bite-sized pieces of content without ever really engaging with it. 

The rise of multitasking is another factor contributing to our diminishing attention span. With the constant need to be connected and productive, we find ourselves trying to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. However, multitasking is not an effective way to get things done, and can actually lead to a decrease in productivity. Think about when a South Park clip comes up on your For You page with a cooking video playing below it. You technically are multitasking, but realistically, is this improving your attention span? Another issue is the amount of time we spend staring at screens. Whether it’s our phones, laptops, or tablets, we are spending more and more time looking at screens, which can lead to eye strain, headaches, and other health issues. Additionally, the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt our sleep patterns, leading to further cognitive impairment.

So, what can we do to combat this decline in attention span? The first step is to become more mindful of our technology use. We need to set boundaries for ourselves and limit the amount of time we spend on social media and other digital devices. Taking regular breaks from screens and engaging in offline activities like reading, exercising, or spending time with friends can also help improve our attention span.

Another effective way to improve our attention span is through meditation and mindfulness practices. Research shows that these practices can improve cognitive function and increase our ability to focus for extended periods. Additionally, practicing mindfulness can help us become more aware of our thoughts and emotions, allowing us to better manage distractions and maintain our concentration.

Finally, it’s important to develop good habits that promote cognitive health. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are all essential for maintaining optimal brain function. Additionally, engaging in activities that challenge our minds, such as learning a new skill or playing a challenging game, can also help improve our attention span.

Our generation is losing its attention span, and it’s up to us to take action to combat this decline. By becoming more mindful of our technology use, practicing mindfulness and meditation, and developing good cognitive habits, we can improve our ability to focus and engage with the world around us. It’s time to take control of our attention and reclaim our ability to concentrate on the things that matter most.

Ariana, or Aria, is a second year philosophy major and comparative literature minor at UCD. She enjoys fashion, cartoons, spending times with friends, and La Croix.