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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Why Your Attention Span is so Short

Junior Teixeira
A laptop is partially opened on top of a flat surface. The screen displays a bright and colorful image.

Today’s generation has experienced a severe decline in attention spans, and the solution is at your fingertips– literally.

As of 2023, kids, teenagers, and even adults, from all across the world, have witnessed a decrease in their attention spans from 12 seconds to 8.25. The reason why stems from our generation’s excessive technology usage and digital overstimulation.

In our daily lives, we have become dependent on technology. Your phone wakes you up in the morning and informs you of important events; it can direct you to a new restaurant that all your friends are meeting at, and even pay the bill. Phones play a substantial role in everyday life, including socialization. Technology has become our main form of communication, as well as our gateway to any and all information.

More importantly, it houses endless forms of entertainment. At any given moment, an individual can access whatever it is they want. Due to technology, we are able to satiate our feelings of boredom and desire quicker than ever before.

For example, when you’re bored, you take out your phone and find something to entertain yourself. You scroll mindlessly through pleasing photos, funny videos, and catchy songs. In turn, you receive a spike of dopamine for every piece of media that engrosses you.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter inside the brain that controls the reward and motivation center. When your brain wants to do something, it releases a small amount of dopamine that encourages your body to act (ie. motivation). When you act on the desire, you release higher levels of dopamine. This results in a feeling of pleasure (ie. reward), leaving you more inclined to repeat that same action in the future.

Dopamine plays a large role in addiction; when the body is receiving pleasure at constant and recurring rates, we must begin to fulfill these desires quicker and more frequently.

If the action is executed continuously, the body eventually will begin to regulate pleasure levels to a point where elevated pleasure is no longer satisfactory. This process is the beginning of addiction; if a person does not fulfill the desire, they then experience displeasure and withdrawal-like symptoms.

In a world where we are attached at the hip to technology, we too often satisfy our every desire. Yet in this, we are met with another problem. Overstimulation.

The internet is a collection of media that continues to grow in volume. Social media presents individuals with a multitude of media, and all at once. In order to accommodate the overstimulating level of information provided, your attention becomes divided. From texts popping up to music playing in the background, to the changing visuals on your screen, you bounce back and forth between news and media every second. If you’ve owned a phone or any internet-accessible device, you’ve likely experienced this. By dividing your attention too often, you incapacitate your ability to focus on a singular task.

On a positive note, a shortened attention span isn’t irreversible. It requires discipline and making a conscious effort to restrict your media intake. Limiting your time on the internet is a beneficial practice that can provide you greater satisfaction in life; you will gain the ability to focus on tasks in front of you and apply yourself where things truly matter.

“I’ve learned that I feel more satisfied with myself, and more optimistic when I am away from my phone. I find myself actively wanting to engage in my hobbies/extracurriculars, more so when I haven’t engaged in social media than when I have. In addition, I enjoy them more and feel prouder of what I accomplish. I think everyone should allow themselves the time and opportunity to appreciate what is in front of them; they should focus on what it is they can create instead of take.” – Briana Briones

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About the Contributor
Sydnee Teo
Sydnee Teo, Staff Writer
Born and raised in the gorgeous Menfiee, California on April 15, 2007, Sydnee Teo loves painting, reading, and weight lifting. Her max deadlift is 250 pounds. Sydnee’s favorite genre of books is dystopian. She enjoys science and wants to be a geneticist or a physicist after attending Stanford University. Sydnee loves many types of music, but her favorite era of music is early 2000’s. The Weekend is one of Sydnee’s favorite artists along with J. Cole; however, she hates Taylor Swift. Sydnee’s favorite flavor of Jolly Ranchers is Cherry, while her least favorite is Grape. 
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