Short Attention-Span Theater

From the first day I connected to the Internet back in the mid 90s, I saw the danger of using it for a method of communication.  And whether you wish to admit it or not, it’s there, and HERE–staring both of us directly in the face.  Right now, as you read these words.

The medium requires those using it to have short-attention spans–to be successful idonthaveashortCHICKENPHOTOLOGOand adept at it anyway.  Back in the days when I began it was used mainly for research and information.  It was (and maybe still is) called the Information Super Highway.  But even back in those neolithic days they had “chat rooms”. There were many people on one webpage instantaneously chatting with one another.  There was a dozen different conversations going on simultaneously.  You could devote yourself to just one conversation or try to keep up with what everyone was saying so you could jump in with an appropriate response whenever it was required or simply when the spirit moved you.

NOW, we have social media out the bum (crudely put).  Facebook is ubiquitous.  We carry it in our shirt pockets on our cell phone.

The inspiration for this article is the nature of attention length and interaction on WORDPRESS itself!

I really do want people to read what I have to say.  Don’t all the authors here want that as well?  I think so, else why do it, eh?  But I need more than just the wit or wisdom of my age-addled brain, don’t I?  I have to keep your attention.  That one of the very important reasons I incorporate images in my articles–to grab your eye.  Perhaps if I can snag the attention of passerbys just long enough to stop and read a line or two, or prevent their leaving right away then I might get what I am trying to say across.  Perhaps.

You know, I am very prone to the swordpress-logo1syndrome myself.  As I said, I want people to read what I said and people do drop by, and I want to encourage that up to and including leaving comments.  I REALLY like comments–good or bad (good mostly of course).  To help encourage that means I have to put myself out there and visit those who visit me.  It’s a matter of common courtesy.

So now I have about 27 or 28 followers and I am following about the same number myself.  I want to actively follow them.  I really do.  I don’t click “follow” just to get them to come see me.  And I don’t follow everyone who follows me.  I visit their blogs and if what I see really interests me then I click “follow.”  It’s the follow-up that is the problem.

I have all these good people that I follow and who I think really deserve to be read, for their sake and for mine as well.  I really like their blogs or else I wouldn’t have them listed, but I don’t give them the time or attention that I should.  Why?  It is because I don’t think I have the time to devote to the practice.  That’s what I think anyway.  How true it is, is a subject for debate.  The nature of the blogging (and Internet) beast makes you jump back and forth all the time.

I NEED to publish content–constantly–to satisfy the writing devils who run around in

Cor Novus
Cor Novus

my skull and to generate views to my blog in order to satisfy my ego that wants attention to what I have to say.  Is anyone relating to what I’m saying?  There has to be one or two.

I try speed reading of others’ blogs, but that feels like cheating.

Let me wrap this up, just in case I haven’t lost your attention yet.

The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.

Marshall McLuhan

McLuhan was talking about television and he was talking about it scores of years ago.  How prophetic was that, eh?  I detest making New Year’s resolutions, but since this is happening so close to January 1, you may call it that if you wish.  I simply call it a promise.

I promise to lengthen my attention span and visit those on my list who I follow and to comment appropriately when the spirit so moves me.  Do I expect others to do the same for me?  well . . . kinda . . .  I know how tough it is.  REALLY, I do.  So forgiveness all around, eh?

Thanks for keeping up with me this far, folks and also for giving me space to share.



6 thoughts on “Short Attention-Span Theater

  1. Good article. Certainly Marshall McLuhan was prophetic in his take on television, as you noted. I’m also impressed with his prescience in his take on electric networks and artists as computer programmers. The Internet and bloggers / Youtubers / Photoshoppers all have made the prophecy come ture. Thanks for a good read,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good or Ill, it definitely shifts the paradigm. I definitely lean toward not myself, but I suspect that is generationally subjective. The current generation might have a completely different take on the subject.


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