I zoned out three times typing this title

This week’s post is a short one based on the task week. We had to create a small informal test that allows you to see what happens to someone’s attention in the presence of multiple media devices. I conducted this small text with classmate and friend, Grace. The instructions were simple: read last weeks BCM240 reading and see how long you last before getting distracted – by either changing the tabs on the browser or picking up or looking at your phone.

I, myself, found the reading to be incredibly convoluted and boring so it took me a while to read one page, let alone the whole article. So, I asked Grace to read the article and she found it incredibly difficult to do so because of the same reasons I stated. She often looked away from the article or checked her phone. What does this small test say about attention spans?

According to Google’s multi-screen study, Grace’s behaviour is referred to as simultaneous screen usage as she is using two devices as once. Her go-to device is the phone which is “the most common starting point for activities across multiple screens”. Grace said that it was as effective and relevant test as reading journal articles is a big part of studying and being a university student. She said it is very difficult to read those articles without getting distracted which results in losing track of the task at hand.

The moment our mind wanders, we want to pick up something to capture our minds. When we live in a world where you can gain access to anything you want, whenever you want, it’s easy to understand the demand for constant mind stimulation.



Couldry, N., MacDonald, R., Stephansen, H., Clark, W., Dickens, L. and Fotopoulou, A. (2014) ‘Constructing a digital storycircle: Digital infrastructure and mutual recognition’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 18(5), pp. 501–517. doi: 10.1177/1367877913519313.
Google (2012) The New Multi-Screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior. Available at: https://ssl.gstatic.com/think/docs/the-new-multi-screen-world-study_research-studies.pdf (Accessed: 25 September 2016).

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