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Bloodaxe007 t1_iwqos4x wrote

I would suggest that the premise is flawed. Websites since 2000 have become a lot easier to navigate, and information more succinct.

If i can find the information i need in 8 seconds, that says nothing about my attention span, that’s just efficiency.


Penisanthonydoubs t1_iwrjmqb wrote

Not to mention the internet speed alone


FlamyMind t1_iws78ur wrote

Also the average has more experience with the internet. The majority of internet/websites are bs, you get better at filtering what you see and skip over the crap or understand faster and go to the next.


HardCounter t1_iws3k30 wrote

Also doesn't account for the degradation of quality and ads. If there's a popup ad in the middle of my screen i close it immediately, and this is typically the case with most newspaper websites. Sometimes it's a straightup paywall and closing is the cheapest option.


alpacasarebadsingers t1_iws9zex wrote

They measured how much better we get at using webpages. Now the real question is what website were they showing the goldfishes to measure their attention span.


thunderBerrins t1_iwsoo80 wrote

Also people bailing on websites that annoy them. Pop ups etc are a plague in 2022


1feralengineer t1_iwqofma wrote

I stared at the chart for 32 seconds just to skew the data.


Solenka t1_iwu141p wrote

Coincidentally, 32 seconds is the exact time scientists needed to create this OC chart.

I believe that posts like this one decrease the quality of the sub substantially.


komarinth t1_iwty4e4 wrote

I upvoted this trice, and wrote a comment to stay on topic.


aspacelot t1_iwqsmrv wrote

2 thoughts.

  1. From the source:

“In fact, scientists reckon we now have shorter attention spans than goldfish, which are able to focus on a task or object for 9 seconds.”

Phrasing is key. Goldfish are able to focus for 9 seconds meaning that’s their ceiling. I’m sure they regularly focus on things less. Using this shows bias in what they want to portray.

  1. How we use the web has changed

We spend substantially more time on any one of the “big” sites. Facebook, Reddit, instagram, twitter, etc. when we Google search and go to a site we are looking for something. Who really goes to a non social media site and parks for a minute to read all they have? We’re looking for addresses, contact info, pictures, store hours, answers to questions, etc.

Why this matters: Google’s advertising structure has made it so there’s plenty of shit sites out there that only exist to trick us into clicks to serve us ads. If I’m searching for “how to tie a bow tie” and click on the first non YT link I’m 90% sure I’ll bounce from it quickly because it won’t tell me how to tie a tie but is instead trying to sell me a tie.

Rather than frame bounce rate as a representation of user attention spans I think it’s more likely a reflection of users being savvy and quickly recognizing internet bullshit before looking elsewhere. It’s a statement on the overwhelming “junk” on the internet rather than a shortcoming of people.


shimmeringships t1_iwqzmph wrote

Right? Looking for something online now is is like “nope” … “nope” …. “nope” … “nope” … “nope, dammit why have search engines gotten so much worse?” … typing new search criteria … “nope” … “nope” …. “nope” ….”FINALLY!” … spending a couple minutes reading what I was actually looking for


mjkjg2 t1_iwsyus0 wrote

yes, a golfish’s attention span is 9 seconds because it doesn’t know wtf it’s looking at

mine is 8 seconds because I’ve already assessed the material and decided I don’t want to look at it


Bertiederps t1_iwt0i3p wrote

and then don't forget opening the page, having a "cookie preference data consent popup" block you from going in, insisting you click every Decline All options in the most user-unfriendly way possible, try to dupe you into clicking the Consent To All button because it's coloured the opposite way to expected, then trying to remember what the hell you even wanted.


kickspecialist t1_iwt6egg wrote

Somehow I only realized last week that Google has become worthless if you don’t know the URL of whatever you are searching for. Which really means Google is completely useless at this point


MrUnoDosTres t1_iwsqge5 wrote

Thank you, we just have gotten more efficient because search engines have become more commercial and flooded with spammy sites.


torchma t1_iwtiph5 wrote

> Google’s advertising structure has made it so there’s plenty of shit sites out there that only exist to trick us into clicks to serve us ads

That has nothing to do with Google's ad model. You can't pay google to improve your page's rank on a search. Ads are completely separate from search results. The internet has simply gotten much bigger and much shittier, diluting useful information.


aspacelot t1_iwtjsot wrote

I was referring to Googles requirements for higher placement and their SEO requirements in general.

Think recipe sites: you ever wonder why every site has a backstory about discovering the recipe and changes made and how their hubby just can’t get enough and basically a mini novel before the actual recipe? Google won’t rank pages that are simply the ingredients, pictures, and instructions. They have word count requirements which “fluff” whatever you’re looking for and add pace needs to deliver their advertising. Another one is game sites that are basically written by a bot. Google “does NEW GAME have coop?” And you’ll inevitably find a link to a site that’s fluffed so much that it starts with “NEW GAME is a GAME TYPE coming out on date. It’s made by xxx and releases on yyy. In the game…” and just goes on and on and on despite the page title being “does game have coop?”

The only reason those shit sites rank high are because they can game the SEO requirements AND use google adwords to deliver advertising for Google. So there are bogus sites AND “Ad” placed sites (which tbh I don’t see because I use Brave). This waters down the quality of what most users actually want. Couple that with Google stripping answers from legitimate sites and not paying revenue and delivering the information on their home page it creates a scenario where they’ve disincentivized companies from running legitimate information or news sites and instead conform to what Google wants adding to the shit pile and letting one corporation control our primary source of information.


torchma t1_iwtk9c7 wrote

Are you talking about chrome or Google search? Does Google make money from ads in chrome? If you've navigated to a fluff site and away from Google, does Google still make money?


aspacelot t1_iwtni1g wrote

No I’m just talking about Google the search engine. Yes, sites use a service called AdWords from Google to allow Google to put “hooks” into their code to deliver Google ads and track users across the web.

If you have a Google account and have logged in then you go to directly (even without using Google search) and uses AdWords, Google tracks that you go to that site (because AdWords tells them) and then they (Google) delivers ads to you on and pats for it as well as delivering ads across the web to other AdWords sites. It’s why the “allow cookies” pop ups happen now because in the EU they’ve started passing regulations against this type of networked tracking.

So if I want to make a some money I’d make a site called “” I’d use a bot to fluff up content with bullshit, format the site to googles SEO specifications, sign up for AdWords and link it into my site (you basically just copy/paste what they give you and plop it into the header section of the HTML in your site) and then wait for the $$ because right now “end of twitter” “twitter dying” “downfall of twitter” and stuff like that are big time search words on Google. Inevitably my garbage site will rank high due to SEO compliance and key search word similarities yet I’d actually deliver no content. I’d have another one of those sites you’d land on and bounce away from after 8 seconds- BUT- I’d have delivered ads to you and made pennies (or fractions of cents). Throw in a quick Facebook ad campaign for my site to boost traffic, add a low dollar twitter and Reddit one. Make a Reddit account to post a link to my site as though it’s legitimate news in r/News or r/JusticeServed or literally any sub with even the most tenuous connection and then I’m making some dough.

Multiply that by whatever other current topics are trending and I’m officially part of the reason search results are garbage and people know within 8 seconds what bullshit looks like online.


torchma t1_iwyozor wrote

Are you saying that Google's SEO favors sites that use AdWords or simply that Google doesn't have an incentive to fix their SEO, because sites that game the SEO benefit Google through AdWords? The former possibility seems illegal.


FeeFooFuuFun t1_iwtk0ik wrote

Took me more than 9s to read this comment, I'm proud of myself.

Ps - yes, agree with all you said. The stat seems more clickbatey than usefully informative


Weekly-Stable-490 t1_iwvn4do wrote

goldfish attention span is also a myth. If you actually want to see if online activities reduce attention span, pick two humans group, one that use a lot internet and one that don't, and compare the two groups for different activities.


Kuzzoom t1_iwqr86n wrote

I wonder if the multitude of ad banners with the tiny fucking (x) that I miss several times factor into this


CollectiveOfCells t1_iwruxyh wrote

Or when your get 8 seconds into an article and a full browser ad covers what you are reading.

Another one that kills me is when scrolling past a video and a javascript pop out window with the video continuing to play. i scrolled past it because I want interested.


Whirrsprocket t1_iwquain wrote

Ah yes, I love furiously clicking through the internet, reading entire articles in a single breath and watching YouTube videos at 125x speed.

If I don't wear through at least one mouse a week I can feel the thoughts start to creep in.


hama0n t1_iwslb71 wrote

So if you can quickly determine that a site is bullshit, or if you're a fast reader, that means you have a lower attention span?


Winjin t1_iwu1wym wrote

I think this is it. Sites are trash and most of the content is trash.

As soon as I see a new Jay Foreman video, he gets my complete and undivided focused attention for the whole 15 minutes. A new MyMechanics? 25 minutes with zero interruptions. And it's not about flashy clip attention or whatever these assholes claim.

Whenever I watch a GOOD cartoon or series that don't muck around, I put down my phone and watch it intensely.

However a lot of content is just trash, or borderline trash. No, sorry, I'm not spending a full minute looking at that tiktok video. Not because I have deficit of attention, but because it's like watching paint dry. And it doesn't matter if you use clip style or not.


HieronymusGoa t1_iwr1sij wrote

also: maybe we just got better at skimming/scanning websites.

also2: 8,25 or 8 is absolutely not significant.

also3: we only had a third more of an attention span than goldfish at/before 2000? not great to start with anyway ^^


jiraiya3 t1_iwtcqki wrote

I dont get how webpage browsing time is related to attention span. I instantly leave blogs that are garbage, quickly scan through ones which have bullet points, and those which have essays, are generally going to take longer. I think its similar for social media content as well. I dont see how its related to attention span.


Winjin t1_iwu20w5 wrote

People that create trash content and ads want to understand why we won't just stay and listen to them talk bullshit, and can't understand that they are the problem.


panthereal t1_iwreol6 wrote

What is your source? In my 8 seconds of checking google, I found data suggesting that over 20 billion sessions the result was found to be 54 seconds per page.


querry22 t1_iwrkn6q wrote

I did a science fair project on this when I was like 10 and goldfish remember stuff for weeks lol


throw964 t1_iwrsvbe wrote

“Based on webpage browsing time”

Ah yes. The one true metric for human attention.


Kap00m t1_iws1l7p wrote

As others have said or implied, I really doubt that average browsing time is a good analog for average attention span.

As others have alluded to, it doesn't distinguish between looking at a website to see if it's what your looking for, realizing it's not, and then leaving; as opposed to finding that it is what your looking for. Even if it did, I really doubt that the amount someone spends on a single website reflects their attention span.

And on the source, the use of footnotes is kind of weird. For some claims, there's a footnote with citation, but for a good number of claims there's nothing. For example, it mentions that "Microsoft found..." and lists of a bunch of numbers, but no citation.


The_Sauce106 t1_iws9c44 wrote

Goldfish don’t have an attention span of 9 seconds also attention span is just a concept created to push people with adhd out of society


Bitter-Basket t1_iwr2ewi wrote

True. I'm not sure I even read anymore as much as I skim.


honeysmacks18 t1_iwro3iy wrote

This is not an accurate way to determine attention span. Most of the crap I scroll through online I look at for half a second and figure out it’s dumb and not worth my attention. Interesting posts I can look at it for a long time


badchad65 t1_iwrqoij wrote

How does one determine the attention span of a goldfish?


MultiplyAccumulate t1_iws7xwc wrote

Fundamental flaw is it assumes time spent on web page is a reflection of attention span rather than triage.


mathturd t1_iws98cy wrote

It's probably more about the quality of the web pages over time. Unless that is controlled for it can't be ruled out


uummwhat t1_iwsxq85 wrote

Or we're inundated with stupid shit and are just looking for something worth our time.


thefuninlearning t1_iwtm2t1 wrote

Where was this data taken from? What is the source of these numbers? This is so bad I honestly can't see why it got so many upvotes.


itsameluigee t1_iwqpvuo wrote

Plot twist.

The crackers were used in the study.


64b0r t1_iwr1l63 wrote

I read this, wanted to comment, but wondered what to write, so I just scrolled along. Then I remembered and had to scroll back to comment this.


InterMando5555 t1_iwrgrfr wrote

I'm even faster than 8 seconds on Pornhub 😏


carlorossi11 t1_iwroq88 wrote

Haha no way this is true, I know I can focus for at least


Mixer0001 t1_iwrursk wrote

I wonder what would be the score if they dindn’t count the times when people close a page after being greeted by four popups, cookies and ads in the first 5 seconds.


zavendarksbane t1_iws4gn5 wrote

Yeah but what about when the Goldfish is online?


Killawife t1_iws63d0 wrote

I didn't even know there were goldfish online. Blubb-blubb fellow comrades.


TheSn00pster t1_iwsiewp wrote

I masturbate for at least 30 seconds apiece.


hama0n t1_iwslmnm wrote

Can we have a follow-up chart with comparing a goldfish attention span to the amount of time the average person focuses on their computer/phone without getting up?


capitalism_or_life t1_iwsnspa wrote

But I doomscroll reddit for hours. The rest of the Internet bores me. There has to be some accounting for that demographic.


Callinon t1_iwsq862 wrote

I was going to point out that the plural of goldfish is goldfish, but I saw a squirrel and forgot what I was doing.


210Rocket t1_iwssfs9 wrote

Internet has gotten 4 seconds faster since 2000, got it


worm600 t1_iwtem2k wrote

This chart as labeled is pretty difficult to interpret.


IAmTheClayman t1_iwtk9r3 wrote

Lies! Goldfish don’t even know how to log onto the internet!


Denaton_ t1_iwtojsg wrote

And then we have the gamers who can play a game for hours with total focus..


kochikame t1_iwu7ves wrote

Ironically, I only looked at this thread for about three seconds


Juuna t1_iwuxlf2 wrote

Maybe if websites werent obnoxiously trying to hard to keep viewer retention. Then I might be interested for longer. But having to scroll through 10pages of text about the authors great grandma on the himalya and ads I really dont wanna continue reading. So those 8 seconds is just me scrolling from top to bottom to see if its worth reading what Im looking for and most of the times its not.


Slyguyfawkes t1_iwv85g3 wrote

Oh yeah...we're definitely going to get some societies colllapsing


young_vet1395 t1_iwvpocp wrote

When were goldfish last tested? Facts not clear.