By Eamon Raftery
The end of the average attention span is upon us. Internet video creation standards have inevitably consolidated two or more videos on one screen to be digested simultaneously. A horizontally split screen video of a famous tv clip on top, and a sped-up mobile game, DIY tutorial, or other strangely distracting form of content on the bottom is the new meta for ADHD children. Attention span regression has reached peak acceleration. The new standard will be an Ipad child’s ability to fixate on their screen. The new and potentially most detrimental culprit is overstimulation content and how much it has proliferated.
Overstimulation content appears most frequently on Tik Tok, the top half of the split screen duo usually occupied by an iconic or funny Family Guy clip, and the bottom half a high-scoring or sped-up round of the popular mobile game Subway Surfers. But tangents of that dominant formula appear all over the internet. The split screen method can essentially be any content/media pairing. The whole point, it would seem, is to maintain the viewers’ attention via two forms of competing visuals, to halt one’s disinterested scrolling and overstimulate their little brains with a funny Stewie quote and a million points on Subway Surfers. A single video with two information sources would likely encourage multiple viewings for our brains incapable of multitasking. That consequently leads to twice the views on a creator’s video, if digesting the material requires two viewings. This form of content feels rightfully like the culmination of ADHD-prone attention spans that have been deteriorating since the advent of seven-second content on vine. Unless this is only the beginning. Perhaps we will continue splitting a single phone screen into as many frames of content as possible until one becomes too small to view. Reading a book has never been more boring… or impossible.