Do millennials really have attention spans shorter than a goldfish? That’s what the media would have you believe, but as always, the truth is a bit more complicated—and a lot less comfortable

In this video essay I look at the history of distraction, from the stone age to the phone age, and uncover the real reason you haven’t been able to concentrate.

This story began life as an article for the Memo and was inspired by books by Jaron Lanier and Nicholas Carr.