The truth is out there but are you willing to wait?

 

1,2,3,4 … still reading? If I was a web page you would have dropped me quicker than a Drake track. Hostingfacts.com reported 40% of web users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. With those odds, 4 of you that were reading would not have even finished this paragraph!

So, what does this say about our generation? We were born into the technological advances. We are the digital natives of our time. We have the tools and know how to use them. But, are these modern conveniences damaging our health?

No, but possibly our attention spans. The Pew Research Centre in America recently reported that 87% of 2,500 teachers surveyed felt modern technologies were creating an "easily distracted generation with short attention spans". 

Whilst it has also been widely reported by Microsoft Corp, that the average human attention span has significantly reduced from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds today. Which for those of you who happen to own a gold friend of the fish variety is one second less than their attention span! Worrying odds, if you take the time to think about it.

 

Where are we going wrong? It would seem we are not. But, we are developing a thirst for on-demand information and news. Our desire to occupy our time with games and information is now a commodity. One that has been facilitated with fake news sites such as BuzzFeed, Info Wars and The Reporterz. Strategically developed to capture your waning attention for those moments when you find yourself seeking a little distraction.

 

Apart from a reduction in patience and attention At his 18th birthday, he was publicised drinking champagne and quite possibly considering purchasing his own apartment outright. But, there can be dire effects to fake news and a quest for boredom extracting gratification spans there is a cost to our entertainment interludes. A young teen in Macedonia profited no less than $60,000 in six months from setting up over 140 US politics websites, publicising fake news in relation to the campaign. 

 

The victims. Fake news has them more than anyone and if you chose to believe it or not the story is already out there, therefore the damage done. Fake news stories are like rumours they spread fast and with each retelling or reposting they grow in stature.

 

In 1987 Corona was one of the number 2 selling imported beers in America. .When a rumour was started that “Corona beer literally has urine in it” sales plummeted. Of course, it was not true and supposedly started by a rival distributor (Heineken) but the damage had been done. The brilliance of this story is I am myself now questioning the validity of this report!

 

Same as many of us questioned events surrounding, President (Donald Trump) first press conference in six months. Where any political agendas were overshadowed by a chaotic and bumbled defence of claims of his links to Russia and relationships with Russian prostitutes.

 

President Trump’s blaming of the Intelligence Service likening them to “the Nazis” and repeating the words “fake news” whilst theatrically pointing to the audience akin to scenes in one of his television shows, brought to light the power of a fake story and how certainly, in this case, it can be used as a weapon.

 

Irrespective of the news being fake or not, the only memory its viewers and listeners had of the press conference is Donald Trump telling a CNN reporter to “be quiet” and accusing the CNN organisation of “being terrible”.

 

Therefore, are we creating a society of attention shortened and simple individuals like myself who believe all that they see and read when it comes to news?  Or, are we training a generation to question all that they see and hear?

 

The true answer is we do not know and will not for years to come. The benefit of foresight is wonderful, but without it is life not more colourful and interesting?

 

Our generation is smarter than that which it preceded. Advances in technology mean we multi-task more effectively than our parents and are more proficient in our day to day lives. Consequently, as a generation maybe we have a buffer for distraction and shortened attention spans. Therefore, can afford the luxury of a little fake story indulgence now and again.

 

Or maybe we should all “think before we click” and learn to “embrace the boredom”.