TLDR version… Sorry, don’t have one.
Just some random facts before we go on:
- the attention span started going down somewhere around 1950 and is going down at an increasing rate ever since
- if 10 years ago you had about 5 minutes to capture the attention of your audience when delivering a presentation, now it’s down to less then 2 minutes before everyone starts checking their phone
- facebook videos have a 80% drop in audience after the first 10 seconds
- there are stories being told in tens of tweets of 140 characters instead of a compact block of text just because their target audience would dismiss them when seeing a block of text
TLDR went from a simple “too long didn’t read” and became the motto of Generation Z – and it’s applied to everything, not just reading a text anymore. It’s become part of the lifestyle where people aren’t willing to dedicate more then just a few minutes of uninterrupted attention to something before they dismiss it, or even worst, they just dismiss everything that will require too much time without even trying to see if it’s worth it or not. It’s the search of the sensational, the rush of adrenaline or the meaningfulness in a second.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of long posts, mails, calls, meetings or anything else that could easily be reduced and save time. But, and here it’s a really big BUT a lot of people seem to be missing. Quality, meaning and relevance can’t always be kept when trying to reduce everything and narrow it down to a tweet, a vine video or a 2 minutes presentation. You can’t live your life 5 minutes at a time. Or maybe you can, but does it have the same quality or does it provide the same in depth experience? Will it have the same meaning or relevance?
This attitude affects both professional and personal life of more and more people each day without them even knowing it.
Professionally you can’t reach mastery without investing a lot of time in your work. You can’t learn/teach someone to play the piano in 5 minutes and expect them to play Bach or Mozart. You can’t write the next A Song of Ice and Fire in 140 characters tweets. You can’t find the cure for HIV by stopping to check your facebook feed every time someone posts something. Great results are obtained by dedicating long uninterrupted periods of time to your work. You need to focus on your tasks, get into your flow state and only then will you be able to produce your best results. When you are used to dismiss everything after a few minutes and you are not able to maintain your focus, you set yourself for falling short on doing exceptional work and delivering outstanding results.
Also, in your personal life the things that really matter can’t be reduced to a tweet or a 9 seconds vine. You need to take your time in order to enjoy them as you should. Getting a preview is not the same. You can’t enjoy the beauty of a sunset/ sunrise in a 9 seconds vine. You can’t grasp the beauty of climbing Kilimanjaro by looking at some picture by someone who was there. You can’t understand the joy of finishing a marathon by sprinting for 100 meters. You can’t build lasting relationships by exchanging tweets or by listening to your partner for 2 minutes and then taking your phone out to check your feed.
True value is in the details and you can’t have that without being willing to invest time!