One of the many great things about the Internet is the instancy of information. Reports of events around the world are available to you in near realtime. The barrier between you and the information is no longer the time it takes to get to you. Journalists need much less time to research content to ensure that their stories are accurate and credible. The only time required is the time it takes for someone to write down the information. For the most respected blogs, this can be 5-10 minutes after news breaks. Other blogs skip the less important pieces like spell checking, grammar and proofreading. Twitter, everyone’s favorite 140 character social network reaches a level that could certainly be deemed as unacceptable by anyone other than the youth of the 21st century. The brevity and complete lack of respect for the English language would give Mark Twain night sweats.
Twitter is one of many new Internet services that encourages users to spend no more on a few minutes on any one thing. YouTube, for example has millions of videos that are 2 minutes or less in length. In fact, during its first few years of existence, the YouTube video maximum time limit was only 10 minutes. In 2010, they increased it to 15 minutes, still half the length of any short comedy television show. There is a new expectation the Internet has created for humanity. Our time is perceived as more important than ever before. We are now encouraged to consume as much content as possible in any given day. People assume others have seen every new viral video, every notable piece of news and understand every new meme. If not, you are seen as disconnected – an outsider, someone who doesn’t “get it”. This is a world where you are required to have A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder) to survive.
These unrealistic expectations continue to weigh on many people. Some of us can’t adapt to a world of constant quick consumption – a world where 500+ character articles and messages require a T.L.D.R. (Too Long Didn’t Read; A 2-3 line cliff note summary of the article) in order to glean any information from it.
Today, those of us who are not lucky enough to be born with A.D.D. can breathe a sigh of relief. Today, the FDA approved a drug called Twittera, a medication that will induce A.D.D. for up to 8 hours. Those who take this medication can expect to read faster, lose attention and lose interest after spending a few minutes reading, watching or doing anything. This drug is expected to be a life changing experience for many Internet users. We are told they plan to initially market to Baby Boomers, with ads on less relevant websites such as Yahoo, MSN and Classmates.com.
Readers, would you take this new drug? Do we really need it? Sound off in the comments.