Attention span

Aug 13, 2011Our attention span (the length of time during which someone can stay interested in something) is getting shorter and shorter.
It is said that the average person today has the attention span of a gnat, and I understand that it is very, very small.

A thousand things solicit us daily and there is just so much time that we are willing to devote to a particular topic. There is even a fancy acronym to excuse that modern ailment: ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
When I was a kid, ADD was nowhere in sight. I was simply called scatterbrained.

In the days of Facebooking, Twittering, Instagraming and sexting we have very little spare time to devote to anything or anybody. That’s why my postings are usually short. Five hundred words at most, with well aerated chapters.
If the text is drawn-out it will deter readers from forging ahead.

Celebrated Dorothy Sarnoff said:
“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.”

 Paraphrasing Dorothy, I am corroborating her statement :
“Make sure that you have finished writing before your audience has finished paying attention.”

Most of the people have a low boredom threshold and I know that beyond one page of highly personal opinions, I will start losing my readers. So I strive to keep my essays brief.
The only way to slightly prolong readers’ attention span is to entertain.

One-liners work well.
What is the difference between a snowman and a snowwoman? Snowballs.

Or
A couple went to a restaurant. They both suddenly realized that they had left their cell phone at home.
What are we going to do? asked the anguished woman.
Hesitantly the man offered: talk?

For a chuckle, most of the readers are willing to sacrifice a few more minutes of their precious social media time.

Basically, I feel like the court jester of yore.
As long as I can amuse the masses, I will be permitted to keep my head on my shoulders.

But jeepers creepers, I am dangerously approaching my words limit.
I better go before you dump me, because as you probably know It always feels better to be the dumper than the dumpee.

Toot-a-loo.

Alain

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