Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Honey I Shrunk the Attention Span

Here's a thought about the belief of the shortened attention span of the average person today....

I remember reading somewhere that the average person today receives more "new information" in one day than, for instance, people of 1830 received in their entire lifetimes. I say that maybe, just maybe, there's a link here. All kinds of crud are being rapid-fired right into our brains with no way of stopping it. Our brains are now devoted to all this crud, leaving little, if any, space for extended indulgences in speeches, novels, plays, etc. If there's any hope for getting a point across to the masses, the point will basically need to be made in a short, digestible manner. Hour and half-hour commercial-broken increments on TV, three-to-five-minute pop songs, brief blog posts.....these are the things that will successfully get a point across to masses who are, by and large, involuntarily unable to handle any more. This may also explain my, and others', aversion to writing long professional or academic papers and similar works; clear and well-supported arguments though these things may contain, who's going to read it and be able to care?

Hour and half-hour segmented increments on TV, fairly short pop songs, brief blog posts, and maybe a meandering verbal conversation. The way of the future — the way of now.

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