…though you probably should.
A fascinating piece by Farhad Manjoo for Slate magazine regarding the reading patterns of people with regard to articles on the web. His findings? Not all that many people bother to read an article from the beginning all the way to the end…
I’m not at all surprised by his findings. More and more I’m convinced we live in a world of hyper-stimulation.
Nowadays, you want to see an older TV show? Download complete seasons or order the same via DVDs/BluRays. Want to read something, from books to comics? Almost everything is available via Amazon nowadays, just download it in seconds and you’re there. Want to hear certain music? Again, download it via Amazon or iTunes in seconds and you’ve got it. Want news? There are hundreds of websites available for any manner of news you may be looking for.
In the past, we didn’t have this near instantaneous (and, arguably, overwhelming) source of information that is the internet. Back then, we had to hunt out older works to enjoy them, be they TV shows (I distinctly recall spending some Saturday and Sunday mornings searching through the few channels available on TV hoping to find re-runs of the original Star Trek or The Wild Wild West and being delighted when such episodes actually aired…never mind which particular episodes the stations deemed to show), movies (like TV shows, in the days before video tape, DVD, and now Blu-Ray, your only hope to catch older favorites was to, again, stumble upon them while channel surfing), books (you picked up whatever was available at the local bookstore, used bookstore, or library), and music (again limited to whatever your local record/music store carried).
Is it any wonder, as Mr. Manjoo points out…
Maybe this is just our cultural lot: We live in the age of skimming. I want to finish the whole thing, I really do. I wish you would, too. Really—stop quitting! But who am I kidding. I’m busy. You’re busy. There’s always something else to read, watch, play, or eat.
There’s always something else to read, watch, play, or eat. Indeed there is.