More than ever, we’re a short attention-span society.
I can see you reaching to click over to Facebook or BuzzFeed, already. Stick with me. This is worth it, if you want to improve your messaging and overall communications game.
Nowhere is this shortening attention span a worse development than in progressive political messaging. It hurts us from within, and from the outside. I call it the “Dangers of the Jingling Keys.”
More and more, people are like cats. We’ll play and focus on a ball of yarn, but forget all about it when jingling keys are shimmering above us. In fact, while writing that sentence, I got distracted by an article about Uber and another one about Mark Hamill returning to Star Wars. So, none of us is really immune to the jingling keys.
Politics, especially given the sharpness of microtargeting, is getting more and more full of jingling keys. Noam Chomsky explains how this can be used by outside interests:
“The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information…”
Now, Chomsky is writing about how the media uses this tactic, but it really can (and has) been used by a wide variety of interests.