The Internet giveth, and the Internet hath taken away. On the plus side, we have Ceiling Cat and Sad Keanu. On the minus side is our shrinking attention span and memory.
Researchers from Oxford, King’s College London, Harvard and Western Sydney University set out to assess what our digitised lifestyle had done to our brains over the last three decades. Let’s just say that having the attention span of a goldfish is slowly becoming something we can only aspire to. “The limitless stream of prompts and notifications from the internet encourages us towards constantly holding a divided attention – which then in turn may decrease our capacity for maintaining concentration on a single task,” explained Dr Joseph Firth, Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney University.
This is bad news for anyone who’s in the business of competing for consumers’ screen time – and financial service providers are no exception.
During our last expert panel discussion on the now and next of personal financial management tools, one of the main takeaways was that a record number of apps are trying to make it through customers’ attention firewall, whether it’s budgeting, wealth management or trading in stocks and cryptocurrencies. In fact, the majority of millennials and Gen Zers have probably never used fewer than four different apps for money management. Whose app is downloaded more, and what users see when they pull them up, is pivotal in winning the Game of Screens.
And what most of them are looking for is key financial information broken down in a way that is easy to grasp and, if needed, act on.