No, attention spans aren’t shrinking

by Tom Albrighton 20 February 2019 Copywriting

‘Create short, snappy content!’ say the marketing experts. ‘People’s attention spans are getting shorter all the time!’

It’s understandable. After all, we share so many short formats these days, like Tweets and GIFs. It certainly feels like our attention has been shot to ribbons.

This is your mind on the internet

In reality, however, while the statistics are quoted all over the internet, there isn’t much hard evidence to back them up. Shrinking attention spans are a myth.

Besides, ‘attention span’ only tells half the story. What about the things we’re attending to? Clearly, we’re more interested in some things than in others.

You already know this from your own experience. If you click away from my rambling, unfocused LinkedIn video before it ends, that’s nothing to do with your attention span. It’s because my video is too rambling and unfocused to hold your attention.

Yes, you’re sharing cat GIFs – but you’re also binge-watching Game of Thrones. And your liking for both those things is not down to their length, but to their quality.

To put it another way, the point is not how long or short your content is, but how interesting it is.

And as if to prove my point, you’ve read right to the end of my 200-word post.

Read more on engaging your reader in Copywriting Made Simple.

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