What’s Your Attention Span?

By Carolyn Edlund

Recently, I noticed that it’s difficult for me to read a whole book anymore. That’s because my attention span has grown shorter and shorter, conditioned by skimming website articles and moving on quickly.

Then I found Spreeder, an internet speed-reading tool, but realized that may make things even worse.

My blog traffic stats show that I get lots of visitors surfing on StumbleUpon.  But their average site visit is 00:00, which is less than ten seconds.  I’m not alone.

Take a look at Seth Godin’s blog.  He writes in short bites and sentences, spaced out.  Like this.  Seth knows the trends.

What’s your attention span?  Please comment, but be brief.


  1. Good one!

    Thought provoking!

  2. I notice I have to read books in spurts now, depending on the style it is written in. I skim so many blogs or bookmark them for later that it gets a bit much. I also pass through art and museum exhibitions quickly.

  3. I have the attention span of a gnat.

    “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” by Chris Van Allsburg is a perfect book for short attention spans.

  4. Interesting observance. I haven’t noticed that in myself. I get plenty of distractions outside of myself though, so maybe I just don’t notice!

  5. I used to be an inveterate reader, but the reading thing just isn’t happening for me at the moment, except on the internet. I’ve noticed it with movies/tv as well – if it’s any longer than 30 minutes my attention span can’t quite stretch to cover it. I still buy books, hoping for a time when my concentration will come back to me and I’ll be able to enjoy a book again!

  6. Marguerite says

    For me, it is less about attention span than it is about my reluctance to set aside such a long period of time for only one thing. There are so many demands on my time, that I can only justify small segments of time spent entertaining myself.

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