Have You Been Paying Attention?

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So, I’m willing to bet you spend a lot of time on the Internet. Who doesn’t these days? It’s near impossible to avoid. It’s in our pockets, it’s in front of us at work, it’s connected to our TVs, and sometimes even our fridges! Inventions like Google Glass mean it could soon be all encompassing. At the very least, you probably don’t remember how life was without it.

I’m not about to comment on all the positives and negatives of this inundation – instead, I just wanted to draw attention to a major side effect:

If you spend a lot of time online, I’m willing to bet your attention span is completely shot.

(FYI, I put that point in bold so that you would actually notice it).

If you disagree, and think your attention span is just fine… let’s see if you can sit through this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edx9D2yaOGs

Tricky, right?

When I was at university I wouldn’t even have attempted the challenge. Those years marked the height of my addiction to StumbleUpon, Twitter, Buzzfeed, and other sites that were constantly feeding my distracted brain tidbits of mundane information. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to write a coherent essay back then, when I couldn’t even concentrate on one article at a time.

I don’t think I managed to read a book all the way through for about three years, but at the time I didn’t even see a problem with it. I found the world fairly boring and the Internet kept me entertained… for five seconds at a time.

Then I started working full time and things began to change. Miraculously, I stopped caring as much about vapid, almost-interesting content and started seeing the Internet as a tool instead. There’s only so much clickbait you can see before you say ‘enough! No longer do I care what a hedgehog looks like taking a bath!’

Just kidding. It’s totally cute:

But seeing that stuff constantly dulls your senses. You stop comprehending the cuteness of the hedgehog. I mean, I just found another link with ELEVEN CUTE ANIMALS TAKING BATHS. But like, even that is kinda boring, right? Why is that?

Because it’s useless information. You don’t need it. It doesn’t affect your life in any way, and you wont remember it a week from now, or even tomorrow.

The only way you can truly grab someone’s attention is by supplying information they actually need. And this is what I want to point out to anyone thinking about building a website for their business (Yes, if you’ve committed to reading this far, I do have a point to reward you with).

If you have your own website or are thinking about getting one, please keep in mind that you’re dealing with an audience who can’t concentrate on one tab at a time. But that does NOT mean you should try and compete with the flashy social media sites. You’re not trying to entertain the masses. We’re numb to that now anyway, remember?

Instead, make it clear. Make it easy. You don’t have long to make an impact. People need to know what you’re offering, where you are, and how they can contact you. Put the information they need in front of them where it can’t be missed, and you won’t go wrong.

To follow my own advice, now that I’ve reached the point I was trying to make, I’ll wrap things up. And if any of you were looking for more of a reward than just advice, here’s that link I mentioned earlier:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/erikac4/11-animals-taking-bubble-baths-4ff4

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