A feeding trough

Two cats sit behind a desk, ringing bells next to small saucers. Each time the cats ring the bells (every five seconds or so), off-camera humans give them a treat.

Fast and dirty is the name of the game when it comes to media consumption. That’s not changing — indeed, it’s growing.

The average webpage visit lasts less than a minute — videos that don’t grab viewers within the first five seconds don’t get watched.

More than 1.1 million U.S. households cut their cable subscriptions in 2016, instead opting for the stream-lined, customizable and much cheaper online-streaming options.

People want more media than ever — but they want it easily digestible. Liken it to the writing in popular movies like Deadpool or Jurassic World — writing that seems more like series of Twitter quips meant to grab quick laughs than cohesive storylines with compelling narratives.

What’s the future?

Optimistically? A new age of media — cut free from cable company constraints, online streaming services are developing interesting narratives — note Orange is the New Black (at least the first season). Maybe some engaged news readers who care more about current events than cute cats, even if they want it in 172 characters rather than 1172 words.

Pessimistically? A feeding trough. Tune in and turn off (your synapses, that is). Wash yourself in blue light and let your attention span atrophy.

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