With each passing year, millions of tech-savvy and efficiency-obsessed Americans demand and obtain closer glances into the future.

This is one of those glances. This is the future of journalism.

Hear me out…

150 million people use social networking sites. Baroness Greenfield, a neuroscientist at Oxford, fears over-usage will harm attention spans.

These sites provide means of keeping in touch with friends by sharing photos, posting links, and concisely (and constantly) updating statuses.

Twitter, the fastest-growing of all of these sites, has over 190 million users, and updates them in “tweets” never exceeding 140 characters.

Many of these Twitter accounts act as extensions of other media companies, who use Twitter as an effective means to relay information.

With the possibility of having a society with a severely reduced attention span, who’s to say that all journalism won’t be condensed to blurbs?

Will a society that seems more concerned about headlines instead of articles finally get their way?

Will we lose valuable personal interaction skills to the point where “word-of-mouth” becomes virtually obsolete?

Americans are already so bored of bipartisan coverage of internal and world issues, that we only want “news” if it’s entertaining or shocking.

Try to find a general American news outlet that wouldn’t cover a juicy celebrity scandal, and dare say that it is not an important issue.

Try to find a neutral debate show that doesn’t have two opponents trying to out-scream each other.

USA Today is one of America’s most popular newspapers. I’m convinced it has more pictures than text.

Would you rather read books, or cliff notes?

Hear speeches, or sound-bytes?

Do we want the whole story, or what we want to hear?


You can use this article as a test run. Every paragraph meets the 140 character limit of a “tweet.” How do you feel?

Informed? Efficient? Interested?

…Dizzy?

This is not a lament about social networking sites. This is a lament about the deteriorating quality of American journalism.

This is a lament about the people that stopped reading this article after 140 characters.

And if the media only aim to give the public what it wants, where then, does the true responsibility lie?

Read into this article closely.

Closer…

CLOSER…

So close that you can actually see your reflection in the computer screen.

Now in more than 140 characters, decide where to get your facts.



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