The myth about the 8 second attention span

I told my team all the time that people these days have a very short attention span. Creating a long blog post is useless because people don’t read anymore. People have a shorter attention span – about 8 second – than goldfish.

I was so wrong.

I gave the wrong direction to the team. It’s not about speed or content length. It’s not about losing attention. It’s all about earning attention.

Based on neuroscience, human attention is about a prediction of errors. Our brain is trained to sift through mountains of data looking for anomalies. Once the brain notices an anomaly, the next step is to lock it down with a memory. And to do that, we need one more essential element – emotion.

In summary, the successful formula for earning attention is to find an anomaly that emotionally charged. It’s not about speed and content length. It’s all about your content quality.


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