Impacts of Technology: How Is It Changing Our Attention Spans and Perception of Information?

Updated on January 10, 2022

It is already impossible to imagine how our life would go without technology in the modern world. According to stats, as of 2021, there are over ten devices in every American household. These numbers display how much reliance each of us has on technology these days. But is it a good or a bad thing?

Technology has long been deeply integrated into our everyday lives, business, and education. Of course, it, thus, has a significant impact on each of us, and especially the younger generations.

Students interact with a variety of gadgets inside the classroom. They also rely on them heavily when doing their homework. For example, without technology, it would be impossible for a student to go online and find paper writers to get qualified help with their homework. That’s quite great. But, one more way technology impacts youth is by changing their attention spans and perception of information.

Technology vs. Attention Span

To investigate the impact of technology on students, it is crucial to look at how it has changed one of the most vital performance indicators of our brain – attention span.

In a nutshell, attention span is the term used to describe the length of time a person can concentrate on a specific subject or activity. For example, let’s say you are writing an essay and get distracted after a short period of time. That period of time would be your attention span. And, whether you like it or not, technology is shortening it.

According to studies, being overly exposed to technology has reduced an average person’s attention span from 12 minutes to only 5 minutes. That is, a modern person can only stay focused on a specific task or subject for 5 minutes.

Why is this happening? This phenomenon can be easily explained by how we receive information from the web. Quick reads that only take a few minutes to complete, endless news feeds, and videos under 2-3 minutes – today, most content types are made to be short. Respectively, this rewires our brain and makes it harder for it to concentrate on something of a larger length. 

Why is it such a bad thing? A shortened attention span, especially in younger people, makes it extremely hard for them to concentrate on something. As a result, they face tons of academic and other issues. Luckily, today, they can easily get paper help online, and they can start looking for it by checking the EssayPro review. However, though technology makes professional help available, it doesn’t change the fact that it is gradually killing our attention spans.

Technology vs. Perception of Information

Apart from changing our attention spans, technology and the Internet are also changing the way we perceive information.

What are the key changes? On the one hand, as mentioned earlier, technology makes it harder for us to concentrate. But, on the other hand, it has helped our brains to process information faster. According to studies, an average person can now perceive more data per unit of time than ever before. So, while our attention spans shorten, we actually perceive and process more data in this short amount of time.

Another big change is the enhancement of our multitasking. Thanks to technology, our brains have adapted to consuming information from multiple channels or performing multiple actions simultaneously.

Apart from this, there are a few additional changes that we could observe since technology entered our lives:

  • We now find data as the building block of everything;
  • Due to the growing popularity of infographics and other visual content, we learned to perceive information better in the form of pictures;
  • We learned to scan information and grasp the core concepts faster.

These are not all the changes that happen in terms of how we perceive data. But, even from these ones, it becomes clear that, unlike attention spans, our perception of information is actually getting better with the help of technology.

The Bottom Line

Technology and the Internet have already made our day-to-day lives much easier in many ways. That’s a fact, and there is no need to argue with that. With their help, we can automate our daily routines and handle various tasks faster and easier. But, what many of us still don’t recognize is that technology is also changing our brains.

As you now know, constant use of the Internet and technology is changing our brain’s attention spans. This could mean that it is literally killing our productivity.

On the other hand, many technologically-advanced tools out there are designed to help us boost our productivity. So, the use of technology can actually do both – reduce and enhance your efficiency. No wonder why there are still so many debates on this matter.

What is more, the changes we observe in our brain’s ability to perceive information are more positive than negative. We now can process larger amounts of data in shorter periods of time. And, we also started relying on information more than ever before.

So, should you use technology or not? In fact, there is almost no way you can avoid this in our world. So, the only thing that is left for us is to learn how to use it right and get the most benefit from it.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.