It was a summer day in 1981, and 2.1 million cable-subscribing American households were tuning into Music Television (MTV) for the first time ever. As the first music video – the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” – played on the innovative 24-hour music channel, the irony of the lyrics went unappreciated by the teens and young adults of Generation X who sat mesmerized by it, not realizing that culture was about to change forever. This was the launch of a new style of entertainment; one where directors were challenged to tell an entire story corresponding to music in less than four minutes of footage. It wasn’t long before the rapid cuts, whipsaw cameras, and hyper-edited shots began to seep into films and television. Although
…show more content…
But what did this fast-paced environment do to shape an entire generation? In a world where multi-tasking and immediate cultural adaptation are commonly possessed skills, what is the cost of this technological abundance? It seems that one of the most noticeable consequences is a drastically shortened attention span. The instant gratification generation has grown accustomed to constant bombardment of change, and as a result, it takes a lot to get us to concentrate. Just how drastically our attention span has been affected is staggering. Research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the U.S. National Library of Medicine on January 1, 2014 has found that the average amount of concentrated time people spend on a task without becoming distracted has fallen from twelve seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2013. Gold fish have an average attention span of nine seconds. This study also found that the average amount of time an office worker checks their inbox is 30 times an hour and 17% of internet page views last less than 4 seconds, while less than 4% last more than ten minutes. A few seconds of silence lasts an eternity to the young.
Enter a crowded elevator or waiting room today and try to drum up a friendly conversation with someone; you’ll have to get them to glance up at you from their iPhones first. Our phones have become the social crutch of my generation. According to “Our Phones Have Become Our Social Crutch”, a 2013 study by Abbey