If you think that the current media world seems to have issues with attention spans, you’re not wrong. Content now has to be produced in bite-sized chunks. Anything more than a couple of minutes gets ignored and passed over as unimportant or long-winded. Companies are optimizing quick snippets to pull in people’s attention. If you’ve ever wondered why there is a five-second trailer at the beginning of a movie trailer, now you know why.
IT is no different. Topics that were historically seen as problematic and in need of serious study are now either reduced to blips of configuration stanzas or ignored entirely because they’re ‘too complex’. It’s a growing issue that threatens to bifurcate the technical community into those with the attention span to dig into a problem and solution and those that know the very basics about something.
Ethan Banks is no stranger to any of this, having spent his life studying for certifications and teaching people about networking on The Packet Pushers podcast. He has some great thoughts about the attention economy in a wonderful post. Here’s an excerpt of his thoughts:
We are in a global society that, by and large, cherishes the short attention span. Amongst our tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube subscriptions, Netflix trending vapidity, and propaganda masquerading as news, we are a people who stare at screens, consuming mental garbage at maximum velocity–not merely at an alarming rate, although the rate is alarming. We take it in as fast as we possibly can.
Make sure you read the rest of this excellent post on his blog here: The Attention Economy And The IT Talent Dearth