Nichol Vagrosky, Writer

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I have the attention span of a GOLDFISH… and so do YOU!

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Wow… If I would have had to compare myself to an animal of any sort, I would have probably said something like a Tiger or a Panther because of my tenacious and fierce nature right? But a goldfish?

How did I derive at this conclusion? Well, I have #Learner as my number 1 Strength according the The Gallup Strengths Finders so I am in constant research on… well… everything. I wanted to see how social media has affected our attention span and how we may truly grab the attention of our audience.

This is a greater challenge these days than you can even imagine! With the world throwing out and up and all around us, a vast amount of information, our equilibrium may get a little off balance. Overwhelmed might be the correct word. So… this blog is about our attention span or lack thereof.

Let’s start with the definition: “Attention span is the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted. Most educators and psychologists agree that the ability to focus attention on a task is crucial for the achievement of one’s goals. It’s no surprise attention spans have been decreasing over the past decade with the increase in external stimulation.”

We receive over 3,000 messages a day and approximately 90% of those are digital. Sadly enough, the other 10% are becoming foreign to us. Human conversations are diminishing, the touchy feely interactions are becoming antiquated. To me, this is disheartening because I love to talk and I love to be heard.

Linkedin launched in June, 2003. Facebook launched in 2004. YouTube launched in 2005. Twitter in 2006. And now we also have Pinterest. And Instagram. And Snapchat. All of these mechanisms are pushing content across a world that now also sends millions of texts per second. So, back to the goldfish analogy… According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. That is one astounding second less than the attention span of a goldfish! That’s right, goldfish have an attention span of 9 seconds – 1 second more than you and I and that may have even changed now that it is 2015.

I think I may join one of those brain camps to get my numbers up, because that is just not going to cut it!

All joking aside, there are some solutions to this impersonable madness.

  • -Let’s pick up the phone more often. Call me and I’ll call you.
  • -I love to send out thank you cards that I hand write… I’ve been told people still love to receive those rather than the emails that get shuffled into the abyss. They don’t feel real genuine, now do they?
  • -Let’s have coffee or take our clients to lunch to say thank you. We enjoy getting to know our clients and it builds a relationship. A real one. Let’s network with the intention to build relationships, and not always land a client.
  • -Let’s have face to face meetings with our clients because one day, that will be the important factor that allows you to keep that client. We see our clients every month if not weekly, in some cases. Get on their team. So many more goals may be accomplished with more than one person.

On the Marketer’s Side:

  • -Create ads that induce an emotion. After all, we ARE driven by emotions of love, safety, fear and desire. You have less than 15 seconds on those videos we all like to skip on the internet when we are watching our YouTube videos..
  • -Make those first 5 seconds count because the end-user is salivating at the mouth waiting to SKIP it. Give them a call to action. Make them want to make a decision. Re-target them. As invasive as that sounds, we are researching people and we are looking for things that we want or need. Re-direct them back to the best option for them. (We happen to think that best option is us)… It’s the way to people’s heart…
  • -To keep your company and product top of mind. It’s tricky, researched but so highly effective. Call us today or visit our awesome website at so that we can help you get the attention of the “goldfish” attention spanners out there and let’s do it differently. Let’s THINK BIG! Visit or call us at 405.600.4221.

Additional statistics on attention spans: 25% of teenagers report forgetting important details about their friends and family 7% of people forget their own birthdays from time to time The average office worker checks their email 30 times every hour Typical mobile users check their phones more than 150 times per day (Mary Meeker) Content on the internet tripled between 2010 and 2013 Social media sharing has doubled from 2011 to 2013


Cited: National Center for Biotechnology Information



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