Attention and speed? It’s crazy!

Media is like a deadly flu with no vaccine!

Social media is a huge part of our lives in this era. Everyone, well majority of people have computers and many other handheld devices like smartphones or tablets that keep us even closer and harder to stay away from social media. As social media like Twitter and Facebook developed so did memes. Google’s definition of meme is

“an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation or a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.”

Memes used to strike me as silly and dumb part of social media.  But with these memes and other posts that are spreading around online, they definitely shift our media culture and even changes our culture in real life.

To me, I always thought memes were annoying and something stupid that I will never use for a long time. Then I saw more of my friends use memes as I started to use social media more often. It first came to me as pictures only trolls use to annoy people or say something silly.

But as time past by and when I was exposed to these posts I became a fan of them myself. Memes are almost like a flu, when you are exposed to it, its hard not to use it since there are so many other memes that can fit in many different conversations.

Now I enjoy making and using memes when I see something interesting or when a specific meme fits well for the conversation. For an example, using the “Cool Story, Bro!” meme is a great way to make people quiet when they are making smart comments or something unnecessary. The meme implies that I don’t care about what the person is saying and it also makes the opponent feel dumb at the same time.

"Cool Story Bro" Screen capture.by reading article Cool Story, Bro! by Micheal Agger, I noticed that people pick up “new culture” or trends like memes pretty fast. It is also easy to be exposed by them since we have many devices that allow us to be updated every day, minute and second.

In the article Agger says “When someone writes a statement obviously designed to enrage other commenters or demonstrate their indestructible superiority, any response simply feeds their ego. Along comes ‘Cool story, bro.’ Those three words kick the knife out of your opponent’s hand. You’ve called them out as a troll, but left them no purchase for a counterattack” and this is just great! No one has time to listen to other people making smart comments or telling a story that’s obvious.

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In another article I’ve read, I am Friends with Ryan Lanza by Mat Bors addresses the attention we can get from simply posting something online. In this story Ryan Lanza is a suspect of a massacre and Bors happened to be friends with him on Facebook. Ryan Lanza posts a status on Facebook saying “Fuck you CNN it wasn’t me” and another post saying “IT WASN’T ME I WAS AT WORK IT WASN’T ME”.

So Bor took a screenshot of this status and posted on his own social media. This screenshot spread quickly throughout the country. The attention Bors got was tremendous for posting that screenshot.

It all happened in a night or two to make it to the headlines since people are updated with stories like these every second of our lives now a days. We see something that is so minimal like tweets, articles, and statuses that it makes us assume things that aren’t really true or doesn’t give the full information about the story.

Speed and attention we get from these technology also impacts the market and our education. For me at least, it’s way easier to buy something on Ebay or Amazon rather than making my way out to the store to buy something. Websites like Ebay and Amazon have customer reviews so it also allows you to see what other people think about the product you want to buy beforehand.

In school, technology allows us to access lots and lots and information we want in couple seconds. I mean who doesn’t use Google?! Google has been my best friend since my 6th grade year! It helped me doing my homework and research. Of course, Google has lots of false information but hey, everyone still uses it. Because It’s awesome! Although it has false information, most of the time Google gives you the right answer for your question. It even made my psychology teacher look stupid in high school! Whenever he couldn’t answer a question in class, our friendly search engine Google did.

How did it change us?

With this speed and attention we get, we are more likely quick to judge on something by how it looks and the length of the information. In the article, Say it quick, say it well – the attention span of a modern internet consumer by Rob Weatherhead talks about how these websites gain attention and make their visual appealing to us. Weatherhead states

“Studies have shown that 32% of consumers will start abandoning slow sites between one and five seconds. Bounce rate can be improved by up to 30% with the reduction of page size and resulting speed improvements. A one second delay in page load time can result in 11% fewer page views, 16% decreased customer satisfaction and 7% lost conversions.”

 

This shows how we are quick to judge websites on their visual, length of the information they’re trying to give us and also their loading time. This suggests, it’s not the actual information that’s attracting us, it’s about how simple and effective these website are.

So basically many of us are judging the book by its cover instead of the actual information inside.

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