49% of the 2,000 adults surveyed by the King’s College London Center for Attention Studies believed their attention span had decreased. Nearly as many (47%) concurred that “‘deep thought’ has faded into obscurity.”
Gloria Mark, a cognitive psychologist, says over Zoom, “I’ve studied hundreds of people over the decades, and many, many people describe feeling distracted and having a loss of control.” But not everyone, she continues. Mark compiles her research for a lay audience in her debut book Attention Span: Finding Focus for a Fulfilling Life, and the conclusions are striking. It’s not as straightforward as “screens bad, flow good.” What’s most startling is that we shouldn’t even be trying to focus at all times.