I thoroughly enjoy eating. It’s one the best activities going.
Sometimes snack sized fare is best, sometimes an elaborate meal hits the spot.
I recently listened to Tom Peters speak about the growing dominance of “snack sized” internet content. His point, an obvious one to anyone who spends a lot of time online, is that shorter and smaller content has become de rigeur due to the way people ingest info in the digital age.
In her words, it is “not the length that counts but how you manage to remain interesting and captivate your readers till the end.”
Hard to argue with. But, I believe, Peters is right about the direction things are going.
Back to food for a sec.
I know this: you only get so full from a snack. Likewise, you only learn so much from snack sized content. Sometimes a full meal is required to get a full picture about a complex subject.
Simplicity is a great learning tool and a big part of my job. But, as a professional simplifier, I can say that certain concepts defy severe reduction and cannot be served as snacks. Certain insights TAKE TIME TO EXPLAIN!
Here is my Luddite-esque fear: the digital universe is creating this cadre of low attention span folks who can only digest snack sized content. This is truly unfortunate, because we get only so mentally nourished from the content world’s equivalent of a Cheesy.
Whether we think about an 800 word op ed piece from Tom Friedman, a Dostoyevsky novel or a Scorsese movie, there is ample evidence to attest to the power of longer/larger/fuller content.
I hope my kids grow up to see things the same way and are able to digest content far more complex than this little snack of a post.
What do you think?