By | Bradley Hook | www.entrepreneur.com
For entertainment, humans used to watch stage performances that lasted several hours. Then came modern audiovisual films that run for 90 minutes. A decade ago, we welcomed YouTube, where the average video lasts 11.7 minutes. Even this proved too long for distracted minds, and social media found a sweet spot in 15-second TikTok clips, curated — on autoplay — by an algorithm that knows us better than we know ourselves.
We see this tendency in education. Degrees used to take three or more years. Then came diplomas and certificates. Now people engage in microlearning and proudly share their nano-badge or micro-credential, earned in a few weeks, days or hours.
Books became blinks, letters turned into tweets and hostility downsized into microaggressions. How can future leaders navigate a world of habituated busyness and micronized attention? Sustained focus is difficult. Left untethered, our minds seek out novelty and relief. Quick video clips, for example, require minimal commitment with the promise of a dopamine hit.
Is order crumbling into chaos? Can we ever again enjoy slow travel, deep work or a lengthy novel?