Technology Has Changed Time…and Attention Spans
We’re going to give you a proper clock, it’ll help
You think someone is paying attention?
Shiiiit. This is a swipe left, swipe right, scroll, customize, algorithm society. People read, see, and listen to what they want. If what you’re saying or doing doesn’t align with that, the clock is ticking on your ass. You could be unhatching a master plan and, very much like Mr. Fox (in the The Fantastic Mr. Fox fame) be greeted by a swirly eyed, damn near catatonic person (very much like the possum, Mr. Kylie).
Hell, the clock is ticking on me so let me make this point real quick and get out of here so I can get a “Read” and not just a “View.”
What’s not up for debate though is people do not have the attention span that they once did. Songs are going back to the pre-album length era, a three minute jawn seems long, what was once considered “an article” has now been dubbed “a long read,” even the average shot in a movie is shorter.
And here’s why — this is what you came here for — -we’re operating on a new clock. These are the measurements:
A minute is an hour. Conversely, a second is a minute but the minute is an hour is mostly applicable when you think to share a video with someone. You’re asking a lot of a person if you want them to watch something beyond three minutes — they’ll check out real soon.
As anyone who has posted video to IG (or FB) stories, there’s a substantial drop off between the first clip and the second clip — -and that’s only fifteen seconds — but when you look at those seconds as minutes…
What is an hour? There is nothing on the scale of time to measure it. It might as well be a day. Ten minutes into an hour of watching something, the phones are gonna come out (it’s a wonder that theaters even made it up until Covid).
Yeah, I’m sure there are still people out there that can still listen to a prog rock song, that folks are still taking down War & Peace for shits and giggles, but by and large, I doubt that’s the case otherwise folks wouldn’t have been feeling so oppressed by sheltering in place.
Unlike any time in history, people have the world at their fingertips (an estimated 5.65 BILLION Pages) but barely the attention to access it. So if you think you’re going to send a person on an extensive search or have them read some long diatribe where they have to compare and contrast something and it ain’t schoolwork…you can forget about it.
You got thirty seconds (30 minutes) to make your point after that, you’re getting possum eyes, homey.