Living In McNugget Time

We have a very short attention span. Our culture as a whole has a short attention span.

A survey of media consumption by Microsoft concluded that the average attention span had fallen to eight seconds, down from twelve in the year 2000. We now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, the study found. Goldfish are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds.

Broadcast television shows have commercial breaks every 8-10 minutes. We have been trained for the last 50 years to have short attention spans.

And now with the digital and internet age we can click and change whenever we want something new. We have such an information blur, we cannot hold it all, even if we get it in real time. Our devices have rewired our brains.

We think in McNugget time. The trash flows, unfiltered, along with the relevant stuff, in an eternal stream. And the last hit of dopamine in our brains only accelerates the need for another one.

It seems I can no longer wait in a grocery store line, or linger for a traffic light, or even pause long enough to let the coffee pot brew, without reflexively reaching for my smartphone.

We have difficulty with sustained concentration. We don’t know how to mediate and think deeply. It’s hard for us now and anything that is hard for us, we don’t like.

Professing Christians have difficulty thinking deeply and meditating on biblical truth and theological realities. In our “preaching” we want little bite-sized, golden nuggets of practical advice that will help my life now.

We are like, “I don’t want to have to think too hard…just tell me what to do and do it as interestingly as you can, as quickly as you can or I’m going to pull out my smartphone and read Facebook while you ‘preach’. I might even do some on-line shopping.”