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Humans now have shorter attention spans than a goldfish

The results of a recently conducted study have shown that our attention span is... oh wait, I lost you.

That's right. Our attention span has dropped from 12 seconds back in 2000, to an alarming eight seconds today.

To put things into perspective, a goldfish's attention span is nine seconds. So yes, a goldfish can read this article longer than you do without getting bored to death and opening Facebook.

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This goldfish pays more attention than you.[/caption]

These are the results of a study recently conducted by Microsoft (opens in new tab). The company surveyed 2,000 people and used electroencephalograms (EEGs) to monitor the brain activity of another 112 in the study, which sought to determine the impact that pocket-sized devices and the increased availability of digital media and information have had on our daily lives, The Independent writes.

You guessed it, smartphones and tablets and other gadgets are to blame.

"Canadians [who were tested] with more digital lifestyles (those who consume more media, are multi-screeners, social media enthusiasts, or earlier adopters of technology) struggle to focus in environments where prolonged attention is needed," the study reads.

"While digital lifestyles decrease sustained attention overall, it’s only true in the long-term. Early adopters and heavy social media users front load their attention and have more intermittent bursts of high attention. They’re better at identifying what they want/don’t want to engage with and need less to process and commit things to memory,“ it says in the report.

On the bright side of things, our ability to multi-task has drastically improved in the information age.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.