Bullet-point culture

I recently had a chance to visit the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. where I saw one of the original copies of Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451. Being a huge Bradbury fan, I read the description next to the book and discovered that Bradbury wanted to illustrate how “television reduces knowledge to factoids and destroys interest in reading.” Though this statement is somewhat hyperbolic, I understood Bradbury’s concern.

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Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 displayed in the Library of Congress in Washington DC

This reduction of knowledge to short, palatable snippets of information is especially prominent in the world of social media, where a sort of “bullet-point” culture has developed to accommodate similarly short attention spans. 13 foods that may cause birth defects? 27 celebrities who believe the world is flat? Quantum mechanics explained in 30 seconds? It’s not surprising that a recent study by Microsoft found evidence that the average attention span has significantly declined over the last 2 decades, and is now below that of a goldfish!

I would continue this post but I’m afraid I forgot what I was writing about…

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