Archives for posts with tag: distraction

Joe Kraus makes good points and asks important questions in his speech:

– We are creating and encouraging a culture of distraction where we are increasingly disconnected from the people and events around us and increasingly unable to engage in long-form thinking. People now feel anxious when their brains are unstimulated.

– We are losing some very important things by doing this. We threaten the key ingredients behind creativity and insight by filling up all our “gap” time with stimulation. And we inhibit real human connection when we prioritize our phones over our the people right in front of us.

– What can we do about it? Is this path inevitable or can balance be restored?

His conclusion:

“Imagine the world 10 years from now. My third grader will be graduating high school. What does that world look like? I’d guess that it’s going to be more fast paced than ever. That people are going to be even more distracted, even more unable to pay attention to things for any length of time. Even less able to tolerate boredom. Even less able to pay attention to one another.

Now imagine your own child in stark contrast to that culture of distraction. Technically literate, but also balanced. A calmer presence. Not distracted. Not constantly seeking out mindless stimulation. An ability to make real human connection by not signaling that there might be something better on his smartphone to look at. An ability to pay attention to a problem for a long time.

I believe that the biggest gift we can impart on our kids is the ability to be mindful – to pay attention to the things and to the people that are actually around them. In 10 years, that’s going to feel VERY VERY different than the norm.”

Ask any husband and he will admit: We’re lousy at noticing stuff. Especially pathetic when it comes to little details: shoes, jewelry, nuances in hair style. This is not limited to men/husbands; it’s a common human flaw.

Watch the video.

Around 50% of all participants fail to notice that when a person stops to ask them for direction and temporarily disappears behind a passing distraction, they reappear as someone else entirely.

We have limited capacity for attention

And it  gets worse when a moving object distracts the eye. When we focus on one thing, we become completely oblivious of all but that one specific thing.

No wonder banner ads perform terrible. Humans just don’t have the capacity to process that much visual information. We’re focused on getting a task done, not process additional information. And, what we’re processing is not valuable to brands. Millions are visiting the Yahoo! homepage each and every day. Multiple times. Even if you have the best animation and visual cues, a small share will even remember the kind of ad that was running. A tiny fraction will remember the vertical. And only 5 will remember the product name. 3 work for the agency, 2 for the brand.

Seriously, we’re just not designed to process this information in a meaningful way.

You will fail as a digital advertiser and succeed as a digital publisher

Think content. Think value. Think utility. Think being helpful. Think being a support system. And forget about chasing them. Instead, attract them with enticing content and interesting stories. Re-learn the art of storytelling and explore the science of journalism. Become a “real” voice with a POV, expressed through bold content.

You have no choice. Many will flock to great content. Nobody pays attention to your great online ad.