Friday, October 15, 2021

Overheard at Booth 1: Attention Span

Scene: A 1970s computer room, replete with rows upon rows of giant computers using tape-loops.
A group of demons, wearing white short-sleeved button-down shirts with pocket protectors, sit around tables with early model monitors, typing away on keyboards, as their boss, Satan, walks into the room.
SATAN: OK, boys, you know the goal here is to get the humans' attention span as low as it can go, so they can't ever again see my work in consuming their miserable souls.  SO!  Accounting has given me the latest figures and it looks like our invention of the Television Set has their attention span down to about 30 minutes, but we gotta get those numbers DOWN. Whatcha got?

DEMON 1: We've been working on something called the Internet.  It will connect them all to screens and get them hooked on 24/7 shopping and porn.  That should bring their attention spans down to about 10 minutes.

SATAN: I like it.  But let's go lower.

DEMON 2: I'm thinking when the Internet takes over television, we can make something called "social media," which will let them send short messages back and forth.  That should get their attention span down to under a minute.

SATAN: Loving where you're going with this, guys!  Beautiful.

DEMON 3: Sir, I think I can get it down to under ten seconds.

SATAN: HOLY CRAP!  Ten seconds?  That's wonderful!  How?

DEMON 3: It's called "TikTok."