Overstimulated

Story by Miles Furuichi

First if you’re listening to music, stop it. Now, I’m going to make a bet that you won’t read this entire article. Why? Because I told you that you wouldn’t. Now why would I say that? Already you’re probably wondering why I started my article like this but it’s really quite simple. You’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

If you made it past that last sentence and are still interested in reading, bravo, you’ve passed the first test. What was the test? If you could read for eight seconds even though I have said nothing of interest to you.

Now that you’ve made it this far I think it’s time to tell you that I am still testing you. If you can make it through the rest of this article without looking at your phone, clicking to another link, or turning on your music again, you win.

So why all of this carefree writing? It’s because the average attention span of a human is now eight seconds. One second shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. Did you read that right? A goldfish can focus one second longer than you can. And compared to 2000, our attention spans have dropped by four seconds.

No doubt you are reading this article on your computer but it’s just one link. You probably have Facebook on another link. Reddit is there as well calling your name. Your phone is beeping with text messages from your friends and “Like” notifications from your Twitter and Instagram accounts. Don’t look though. If you do, you’ve failed the test.

You’ve probably skipped down to the bottom of the text too to see where this article ends. If it’s too long you’ve already given up. If you’re still reading you should know that the percent of words read on an average (593 word) web page is only 28 percent. If you’ve read all of these words, I applaud you.

Isn’t it sad to think how overstimulated our minds are now? Wtih so mcuh to ascecs on the Irnetnet, our mnids are on csotannt flul aelrt, tnyrig to saok in all the itmfnarioon we can form eevry psot, tewet, beep, and ccilk.  

Your mind must be numbing by now from not receiving the same amount of stimulation you would usually be receiving. If it is, remember you now focus less than a fish you bought from PetSmart. How does that make you feel? Angry? Sad? Or do you not care because you stopped reading this four paragraphs ago.

Here’s another interesting fact. For every additional 100 words on a web page, the average person will spend only 4.4 seconds. My first paragraph was about 60 words and probably took about 10 seconds to read. So the average person isn’t even reading the article. They’re skimming it and not really taking the time to understand what is being written. You probably skimmed so fast you didn’t realize a sentence in this article has all of its words flipped around.

That’s called typoglycemia.

If you have skipped through the rest of this article just to come to the conclusion, you’ve failed the test and have proven that your attention span has been overly saturated by the Internet. For those that read through the whole article, well done and hey, you learned something interesting.

Hopefully, you as the reader can understand that the Internet is like any other addiction and has long term effects on your health. So as I reach 593 words; turn off your devices and go walk outside.