The Snapchat Generation

We are a generation of attention spans that lack any substance. According to an article published by TIME and Microsoft, the average human now has an attention span of 8 seconds. They note that due to the growing digital lifestyle the human species can no longer boast for having longer attention spans than our gold brothers and sisters. 
 Do I have your attention now? Great.

When I think about how the world is changing, there are really two ways to think about it. We might think that we are all closer because we have these communities and social networks where everyone can know everything about your life with a few swipes. Think about it, we can check in at breakfast, snap a photo of our food, send out a video of our pancakes, and tag our friends in a series of moving photos. All before we even take a bite.

I wouldn’t say we are closer. I’d argue we are further apart.

The most punk rock thing anyone can do is to stand up to the popular norm. To say this isn’t for me, and to take a stand on the shoulders of your beliefs. To throw closed fists at the established order.

You could also say that’s just getting older.

I downloaded snapchat a few months ago when the news stations played their tired stories about the latest craze that will take your children’s minds and souls. And for he first time the realization that life is passing you by happened to me. I uttered the words my parents said all my life

“I don’t get it”

But I thought perhaps it just took some time. So I add my friends. And we sent photos and videos back and forth. But unlike other social networks, the experience was empty. Cold. There was such a miniature window that it felt like a fleeting memory. A blip on the radar of an increasingly empty experience. Twitter felt like something brand new. Like a stream of consciousness brought together by impulses and hashtags. Instagram showed us a birds eye view of your eyes. One we could look back on and remember these moments. But snapchat couldn’t stay around long enough to show us the consciousness and didn’t make enough of an impression to show us the birds eye view. It felt hollow and sad.

Now snapchat is an the front of this increasingly crowded space of digital media. And when we think about what this means moving forward, I come back to the goldfish. Their world is the bowl, the water, and the food that gets sprinkled near the surface. And I can’t help but see something similar with snapchat. You need to be glued to the screen because there is this single chance to see what is happening and you can not go back in time. It feels like the goldfish with their face pressed against the glass of their bowl, hoping to catch a glimpse of something real. But too petrified to look around and miss what is going to be snapped next.


Originally published at andyjoeshow.com.

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