Shrinking Soundbites, Smaller Attention Spans
The progressive decrease in political soundbites may be a reflection of our generation's Twitter-length attention span.
The Boston Globe has recently reported a dramatic drop in the length of the average soundbite –referring to footage of a political candidate speaking uninterrupted–heard on television, from 43 seconds in the 1968 presidential election to a mere nine seconds in the 1988 election. The figures reflects the results of research that finds quotations of politicians getting shorter and shorter over the past one hundred years. Could this be a reflection of how our attention spans have been shortened by the progressively decreasing length of messages mediated via new media?