I cannot count the times I have heard a fellow student, friend, co-work, or stranger on the street say, “This is too long!” when responding to content in a brochure, article, newspaper, etc, and decided the information is not important enough to read. In fact, I am ashamed to say, I have said this many times myself. Even while being guilty of this, I do take the position that it is the readers responsibility to engage and examine longer works; however, I do not see this as a legitimate reality. By this I mean it is not a reality for readers not only take responsibility, but also act upon that responsibility. The attention span of the overall public–being extremely short– seems to overrule the readers responsibility and forces the creator to chose to fight against the reality or succumb to it.
Creators now have to decided whether to have their composition viewed by concentrating the content and shorting the readable information, or “fighting the good fight” and publishing a longer work. It seems that the choice would be based off of the necessity the information and demographic of the intended audience. If the
information is vital to the public good or knowledge, the creator will have to take the attention span into consideration. For example, it would be virtually useless to publish a multiple page document, wordy brochure, or text heavy website for disseminating information about Ebola to the public. Though the information is seen as important and desired, it would not be absorb by the reader due to the lack of concentrated information. In this case, a simplified and direct format would be best for the dissemination, perhaps bullet points, short video, or images based information.
I have discovered a download from Google Chrome that will summarize long articles down to a few sentences automatically. I believe this reflects on the current generation. We are not only in need of fast delivery of information, we need the information condensed to such a degree so to absorb only the basic facts and move on to the next. Is the a positive characteristic or negative? Are we efficient and “hyper-productive, ” or are we missing a elements of information? Does this have an affect on social skills and personal relationships?