Has the 'internet age' affected discourse? (in Debates)
March 27 2010 1:35 PM EDT
I was reading some online news articles recently and I was struck by few recurring themes:
1) Brevity... these articles all took a minute or so to read anything.
2) Impartiality seems inversely proportional to importance... nobody spins a cat in a tree story but nuclear proliferation articles are heavy on opinion.
Is it a case that we are having our attention spans decreased by the 'internet age' and are more able to relate to opinions and emotions than details and facts?
Is it simply a growing efficiency among content providers that realize people can search for more detail on their own time and the goal is to get mas clicks, not educate?
Or is it something else?
The thing is, I think I am starting to see it spill into print media and this concerns me...
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March 27 2010 5:28 PM EDT
I do not know where you get your statistics, however, I can find lengthy articles on subjects all the time. But quite a lot of what I read is short, easy to digest articles.
Yes, there are plenty of short articles but that is in part to the speed at which society is at now.
Information is everywhere. On your computer, your phone, satellite radio etc...
I do agree that our attention spans are less and less due to the internet age. I doubt many would disagree.
I think most people realize the print media as a media is dying. Some are trying to charge for on-line content and perhaps with new technology as the iPad and the Kindle it may succeed, however, with the multitude of free information, I personally doubt that it can withstand this new age.
One can take television as an example. It used to be one had to watch the commercials to get through a show. Or use a VCR to tape it and then go through all your tapes to find the show you wanted. Now with the DVR, one can get through a show in 2/3 the time without commercials.
We as a society are just bombarded with so much information and our attention spans are decreased as a result.
I would not say it is bad, just different. Part of humans adapting to technology.
And as a corollary, now one can find articles or blogs are the extreme ends of the spectrum. On both sides that can stir up primal emotions.
March 27 2010 5:52 PM EDT
Hehe... no stats for me... I apparently lacked the attention span for more than a general impression.
I don't see this situation being a big detriment for the people with inquiring minds who will seek out more information.
I am inclined to wonder what messages are being received by those who do not inquire further....
I claim this the Wal-mart age and that covers a lot of aspects in society.
March 28 2010 8:07 AM EDT
It's a case of generational gap due to how the education system (no longer) works (the same way it used to), and the "cheapness" of information (or better said, access to it).
Rampant capitalism (profit for the sake of profit, damn the consequences) + generation "entitlement" (what is this "obligation" thing you speak of?) + lax education (duuh) = what you see slowly happening.
Not nearly as bad as in the movie "Idiocracy", but if you think of it as a grossly exaggerated caricature, you get the idea.
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