A few years ago, the phrase 'sound bytes' was originated. It refers to short bursts of information, a type of communication that seemed to be the only way to convey information effectively because of the shortening of attention spans.
My observation is that this problem of shortened attention span is increasing, for a variety of reasons. It started in large part, when we strayed from reading, to watching TV. The newspapers of years ago had lengthy articles and in depth research, so that the reader was well informed. The TV reduced the amount of time spent reading a book or a newspaper because it condensed all the facts into a 2 minute story.
Then the internet and easy access to information of all kinds shortened the time even further and often only headlines were or are read. The internet spawned the iPhone where information was at our fingertips any where and any time. What followed was texting and tweeting where the information bytes were reduced in size even more. The texts because people did not bother with the awkward keying in of letters on the text or were limited to a certain amount of characters on a tweet.
I have spent enough time on Facebook now to see it happening there too. It has taken the form of posters or graphic one liners. Someone shares a cute or funny or profound poster and it hits the timeline of everyone of their friends. It gets shared and re-posted and soon goes viral. It is a short-cut of communication that, on the surface, lets our 'friends' know what we like, how we feel, and what we are thinking.
Many of these posters are good, some are bad, and some just need to be challenged. When I see and read one, unless it is brainless and just funny, I think about it and if it I think it needs to be challenged, I will challenge it. This is difficult for some people to handle, but if you put something out there with your name on it, you should be willing and able to stand behind it.
I have been accused of 'phishing', I have been challenged for challenging, and I have been unfriended for challenging. It seems that very few people want meaningful dialogue on Facebook.
I am always very careful to never get personal in my challenges, but only challenge the statement made in the poster. However, if you chose to put the poster on your timeline, it becomes personal and so the challenge takes on the appearance of a challenge against your person.
What I am trying to do is to get people to think about what they let others say for them, and also to create some meaningful and helpful dialogue.
The poster above is one that I challenged recently and the person who posted it defended it by reading something into it that I had not thought of. I like that. What I challenged was the hypocrisy of Isaac Asimov by putting down those where not intellectually elite like he deemed himself to be. To me, he was implying that democracy was not safe in the hands of the ignorant masses but leadership should be left to those who were intellectual. That is dangerous ground to stand on.
The poster below, shows even better where Mr. Asimov stands. He is assuming, by his statement, that he and his ilk are the only ones who know how to properly read the Bible. Talk about intellectual superiority and arrogance! I like his ability to write science fiction and he should have stuck to that.