With increased mobility, faster pace of life, competition from interactive media, and shorter attention spans, music listening has less meaning and importance for most people now than it did years ago, when sustained attention was commonplace.

Another blog article, How Music Listening Has Changed, makes the broader claim that music listening is essentially different now than it was back in the day. That article calls out six reasons, including attention span. Here is where to discuss the claim about attention span.

This is my short version of the attention span (then and now) story:

Most music listeners back in the day had both motivation and time to focus their attention and listen to the same music over and over, which deepened the music's meaning and importance in their lives.

The pace of life began noticeably to accelerate in the early 1980s, marked by new technologies like personal comptuters, fax machines, productivity tools, and VCRs that allowed TV watchers to "time shift" for the first time.

Since then, daily life has evolved into constant competition for limited time and attention among 24/7 media, the internet, mobile phones, texting, email, videogames, Facebook, IM, Twitter, and so on. Many people seem addicted to their smartphones. Multitasking is the norm. Distractions are inevitable. Attention spans get shorter and shorter.

With increased mobility, a faster pace of life, shorter attention spans, and far more competition from other activities and demands, the experience of music listening has less meaning and importance in most people's lives now than it did back in the day.

Does listening to music now mean less to you than it used to? Do the conditions of daily life contribute to that?