Today, there are many devices and tools which are designed to steal our attention. And the mission seems to have worked. Many youths and adults are affected by short attention spans which seem to be caused by smartphones.

Several studies have shown that smartphones can harm their users’ ability to concentrate and pay attention. This is also the case in Arizona, even though the state boasts the nation’s sixth-longest attention span, according to a survey by Solitaire Bliss. 

What Defines a Short Attention Span?

An attention span describes one’s ability to focus on a task before becoming overwhelmed by distractions or needing a break. Some struggle with a short attention span, because they have ADHD, as trouble focusing is a symptom of the condition. When you have a short attention span, you are not able to focus on tasks at school or work for a certain period without getting easily distracted.

If the case is a mental condition, it is important to treat it, as it may help improve your attention span. In other cases, it can be a good idea to take memory supplements, as memory pills can help cognitive function and increase your attention span.

Arizona Is in 6th Place

When it comes to short attention spans, Arizona is one of the states on the lower end. According to a survey from Solitaire Bliss, the state has an average score of 16, while California has an average score of 19.4.

Around 26 percent of Arizonans can focus for a couple of minutes before they reach for their phone, while California was 44 percent. Half of Arizona residents still use their smartphones in the bathroom. However, when looking at Americans overall, 80 percent use their phone in the toilet at times.

The Smartphone Is One of the Culprits

The survey was based on smartphone usage, where U.S. residents were asked to answer several questions such as their smartphone usage while watching TV or going to the bathroom. Therefore, the smartphone is the culprit in this case.

In a book by Dr. Gloria Book from the University of California, Irvine, it is stated that the average screen attention was 2 ½ minutes in 2004. But today, screen attention is an average of just 47 seconds.

Even though new technology has its advantages, there are also disadvantages. Social media and new technology are among the culprits, as people can multitask a lot easier. But this also leads to overstimulation, as people are exposed to an overload of notifications and information.

Therefore, it is important to find a balance between using technology for work, school and leisure, while keeping a healthy distance to it.

Americans Use Their Phone With Family or Friends

The survey also shows that 90 percent of Americans use their phone while they are doing something with their family or friends. In Arizona, the number of people using their phones with friends is 34 percent.

Some people are dealing with feeling disconnected, and this could be one of the reasons why. Therefore, some are experimenting with doing a so-called social media detox or simply putting their phones away at the dinner table. By doing this, you can become more connected with your friends or family.

Getting the Dopamine Hit

Many Americans are using their smartphones for social media, shopping, work, and simply scrolling. The fact that we can use our smartphones for almost everything also results in the fact that we reach for our smartphones more often.

The science behind addictive smartphones is also known as the dopamine hit. Dopamine is a chemical, also known as the “feel-good” hormone, and is connected with activities such as eating good food and exercising. When dopamine is released, we are motivated to repeat those activities. While people scroll through their phones, they get a so-called dopamine hit. Whenever we use our phone, our brain sees it as a rewarding activity, which is why we keep using it.

The Consequences of a Short Attention Span

Younger generations are growing up with smartphones and computers which can have a positive effect. Research shows that youths can process information at a faster tempo than older generations.

But the side effects are also apparent, as they seem to have lower attention spans than the previous generations. Consequently, they get bored more easily, and they don’t have the patience for more complex tasks.

Boosting Your Brain Health 

When the ability to concentrate becomes a burden in daily life, some decide to turn their eyes toward memory supplements. Another way to enhance your brain performance is by looking at certain foods.

A diet that is rich in nutrition can also be a way to boost your brain. By eating healthy oils and fish, you can protect your brain. Diet and physical activity also go hand in hand, as exercise can prevent cognitive problems.