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Is a 15 second attention span really a 'Gen Z Thing?'

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

1950s style retro illustration of a black woman sat on a chair watching TV on her mobile phone

Confession: I've been watching scenes from films and TV shows on YouTube.

Not the whole show, just a few minutes. Like the bar fight in Jack Reacher, or the coin trick two-hander between Patrick Jane and Dr Steiner on The Mentalist. It's a condensed hit of entertainment where I know I'm going to enjoy it. 5 minutes well spent, not 2 hours 30 wondering if this hell will ever end.

It appears I'm in good company, albeit on a different app. TikTok has drawn in its own clip watchers. The algorithm serves up a clip, you watch it, then you have to know what happens next. Cue hours of watching TV shows a few bits at a time.

Feel free to label this as "Gen Z brain" and its short attention span. But when I was a yoof we had clip shows hosted by Dennis Norden, the skip button on the CD player and 4 TV channels to surf around.

Maybe not so different in intent, even if the options are considerably more varied.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction.

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