DENMARK - Global Attention Span Narrowing

Arno Froese

It’s just as you suspected; the information age has changed the general attention span. A recently published study from researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests the collective global attention span is narrowing due to the amount of information that is presented to the public. Released in the scientific journal Nature Communications, the study shows people now have more things to focus on—but often focus on things for short periods of time.

In a press release from the Technical University of Denmark, Professor Sune Lehmann, who worked on the study, said: “It seems that the allocated attention time in our collective minds has a certain size but the cultural items competing for that attention have become more densely packed.”

“Content is increasing in volume, which exhausts our attention and our urge for ‘newness’ causes us to collectively switch between topics more regularly,” said Philipp Lorenz-Spreen of Max Planck Institute for Human Development that also participated in the study., 17 April 2019

Arno's commentary

It stands to reason that our attention span is shrinking due to technology. We no longer need to list tasks that need to be done, but simply tell our technological gadget to remind us. We may rush off to a grocery store without knowing exactly what we need, but the person at home can easily help to remind us what to buy over a cell phone.

It is of interest that Philipp Lorenz-Spreen of the Max Plank Institute centers the reason for our attention deficit with the word “newness.” That leads us to the news, of which the overwhelming content has no value whatsoever, but is simply gossip.

Here we are reminded of Acts 17:21: “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” These people had plenty of time to tell and hear about new things; yet, little time for seeking the true God, which they had already artificially replaced with an image, as verse 23 records: “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” Thus, religion was taken care of, and today the God of the Bible is being replaced with “newness”; that is, news and merchandising.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety