Wagner and Mozart created operas that were over four hours long, broken into three acts. By the time of Puccini, operas have shrunk to two hours and four acts.
Films used to have a running time of 2 hours. Then they became 90 minutes. Television normalised a show to 1 hour, or around 40 minutes without the ads. With the advent of YouTube and streaming services, a video can be just a few minutes.
With TikTok, videos are engaging because they only last for a few seconds.
We used to read books, then magazine articles, then only article summaries, now we struggle to read past the headline and a click bait paragraph.
The Internet, with hyperlinks and pop up ads, encourage us to skim information (because it is hard to read long form content on a screen). We have become used to consuming content in Twitter sized chunks, indeed we ignore anything longer.
With the advent of social media, we engage at the level of memes, preferably in a large font with a background image.
Have you noticed your attention span decreasing and your focus narrowing? When was the last time you consumed long form content?