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Collective Attention Span Among People Decreases Rapidly as of 24/7 News Availability

"As a next step, it would be interesting to look into how this affects individuals, since the observed developments may have negative implications for an individual's ability to evaluate the information they consume," said researchers. 

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"Since the available amount of attention remains more or less the same, the result is that people are more rapidly made aware of something happening and lose interest more quickly. However, the study does not address attention span on the level of the individual person," Lehmann noted. Pixabay

People are losing their collective attention span rapidly owing to the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO), staying up-to-date on social media and breaking news coming at them 24/7 via various platforms, a team of European scientists has warned.

The study with first empirical evidence in the journal Nature Communications has found that our collective attention span is indeed narrowing and that this effect occurs not only on social media but also across diverse domains, including books, web searches and movie popularity.

FOMO is social anxiety characterised by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”.

“It seems the allocated attention in our collective minds has a certain size, but the cultural items competing for that attention have become densely packed. “This would support the claim that it has indeed become difficult to stay up-to-date on the news cycle, for example,” said Professor Sune Lehmann from Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

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The study with first empirical evidence in the journal Nature Communications has found that our collective attention span is indeed narrowing and that this effect occurs not only on social media but also across diverse domains, including books, web searches and movie popularity. Pixabay

To reach this conclusion, the scientists studied Twitter data from 2013 to 2016, books from Google Books going back 100 years, movie ticket sales going back 40 years, and citations of scientific publications from the last 25 years.

In addition, they gathered data from Google Trends (2010-2018), Reddit (2010-2015) and Wikipedia (2012-2017).

When looking into the global daily top 50 hashtags on Twitter, scientists found that peaks became increasingly steep and frequent. In 2013, a hashtag stayed in the top 50 for around 17.5 hours and gradually decreased to 11.9 hours in 2016.

The trend is mirrored in other domains, online and offline as well.

“Since the available amount of attention remains more or less the same, the result is that people are more rapidly made aware of something happening and lose interest more quickly. However, the study does not address attention span on the level of the individual person,” Lehmann noted.

twitter
To reach this conclusion, the scientists studied Twitter data from 2013 to 2016, books from Google Books going back 100 years, movie ticket sales going back 40 years, and citations of scientific publications from the last 25 years. 
Pixabay

The study was conducted by a team of European scientists from Technische Universitat Berlin, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, University College Cork and DTU.

Also Read: New Survey Indicates, Indians Most Worry About Terrorism, Unemployment And Corruption

“As a next step, it would be interesting to look into how this affects individuals, since the observed developments may have negative implications for an individual’s ability to evaluate the information they consume,” said researchers.

Acceleration increases, for example, the pressure on journalists’ ability to keep up with an ever-changing news landscape. “We hope more research in this direction will inform the way we design new communication systems,” the team said. (IANS)

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New Apple Updates to Arrive on 24 September, Says Report

After rolling out iOS 13 for iPhones and watchOS 6 for Apple Watch Series, the iPhone maker is expected to unfold iOS 13.1 along with iPadOS on September 24

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An Apple company logo is seen behind tree branches outside an Apple store in Beijing, Dec. 14, 2018. VOA

After rolling out iOS 13 for iPhones and watchOS 6 for Apple Watch Series, the iPhone maker is expected to unfold updates on iOS 13.1 along with iPadOS on September 24, instead of September 30 as previously confirmed.

The iOS 13.1 will bring several features that were avoided for the initial iOS 13 release, including automated Siri Shortcut actions, a share ETA feature in Apple Maps, and data separation for enterprise devices, The Verge reported on Thursday.

It will also bring general bug fixes to iOS 13.

In addition to iOS 13, Apple has also started seeding watchOS 6 for Watch Series 3 and 4. Watch Series 1 and 2 will get it later this fall.

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It will also bring general bug fixes to iOS 13. VOA

The new iOS 13 features include the gesture-based QuickPath keyboard, a tool to block unknown callers, new photo-editing tools and a dedicated dark mode.

ALSO READ: Tech Giant Apple Invests Additional $250mn in Corning for iPhone Glasses

The iOS 13 update is available for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE and the iPod touch. (IANS)