Having grown up into the transitional age of technological change, going from moderate dependency on the Internet to heavy reliance on it, I still have the ability to reflect back on how times were before it had become such a drug to society. I think about Carr’s idea (found in “Is Google Making Us Stupid?) of bouncing and skimming through words on a page, becoming restless and lacking the ability to comprehend or finish the whole article or book. Thinking backwards, middle school was packed with assignments that required reading a book and then, afterwards, drawing a picture to describe a scene from the book. Today, assignments have shifted from reading books and creating a relatable picture to looking at a picture and creating a story. We have developed this inability and lack of desire to process lengthy amounts of text. We’d all rather glance at a picture of a boat in an ocean and make a story out of a sailor lost at sea than read an entire novel of a sailor lost at sea and then draw it. It’s simply less time consuming.
We can notice a trend of a disappearing emphasis on text through more than just educational assignments. Think about advertising, this same concept of wanting to glimpse and produce ideas rather than read and envision them exists. Advertisements were once decorated with text. Descriptions that once covered the entire length of space now do not exist at all. Compare these two lingerie advertisements:
From the 1950’s to 2012 our values have shifted. Words have become unnecessary. We now do not read an advertisement to create the picture, we glance at the picture to create the advertisement. Advertisers have developed a new formula to creating audience-effective advertisements: LESS reading, LESS text, LESS description, LESS LESS LESS. The graphic has now become the focus, Visually driven ads with enhanced images plaster walls and fill the pages of magazines for the world that does not have the time nor the patience nor the will to do anything but look and stare.
Certainly, we have become lazy. But why? Carr hit the nail on the head suggesting that more and more time spent browsing online has literally manipulated and changed our way of thinking. We now want to utilize our time jumping from one thing to another click upon click upon click. We do not have the motivation to read an in depth article. We don’t even have the motivation to read a description on an advertisement. We want images that rapidly process through our brain as our hand hovers over the mouse, anxiously waiting to click forward onto the next topic. The instantaneous opportunities the internet has created have led us to ban our past drive to attain in depth knowledge on one subject, and instead acquire a more surfaced knowledge on many subjects.
We, therefore, hunt for things that strip down (no pun intended) all the fluff and reveal the main point at first glance. We brush away anything to detailed or intricate for our liking. In today’s society, less has become more. In order to captivate the attention of the audience and keep them entertained, we must bare the goods upfront (pun completely intended).