Speaking of Attention Spans ...

In one of my recent research forays, I ran across this fascinating and fantastic tidbit:
  • The average person has an attention span of 8 seconds.
  • The average goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds.

Like most of you, I approach online content with a fair degree of healthy skepticism. In general, I assume Pareto's 80/20 principle is alive, well and fully operational, meaning roughly 80% of  all online content has little or no basis in fact.

I have no readily available method of proving or disproving either of the facts above. It's difficult to argue with the first finding, however, since we're all a bit distracted these days by the constant ring, ping, bong, buzz and vibration of ever-present electronic devices.

The second fact regarding goldfish is particularly intriguing. The research methodology wasn't described but the finding raises an obvious question: How do you measure the attention span of a goldfish?

One can only hope that in the epic battle of man v. goldfish, researchers leveled the playing field and tricked out the fish tank with at least one buzzing cell phone, a ringing landline, an activated tablet and two glowing computer screens.

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