We live in an age where the various forms of mass communication or social media have reduced the attention span of average people to smaller and smaller units. Like all cultural trends, it has happened over a period. As such we now assume certain things as fact which have never actually been proved. They have just been placed before us often enough for us to presume that it must be so. Add to that the appeal of personal convenience and you have a fully marketable product. In this case, I am talking about truth. It could almost be said that if something is going to have a chance at being accepted today it has to come in a thirty second to three-minute package. It is even more preferred if it is in video format.
No a lot of this is totally understandable. Because we ‘have the technology’ we can ram home a point in a slogan. We can back up the slogan by a fifteen or thirty-second video clip. We can produce a three sentence paragraph. Not only so, but we can then work on a twenty-four-hour news cycle and create a series of add-ons so that every day for the next two weeks you will be getting our message as if it is something new. It will be different enough to make it attractive, but it will be another dose of the same drug.
All of this targets one thing. It appeals to human convenience. Human convenience is just another form of self-indulgence.
What if there are truths that cannot be embraced by this process? What if some things will not be grasped without deeper engagement, more thorough discussion and then practised. Imagine trying to teach piano students in this manner. How many people exist whose lives have been transformed in a good way have been able to do that on a diet of thirty-second grabs. Would you like to submit yourself for brain surgery to a physician who had gained all his understanding and expertise by watching adds and door-stop interviews with other great surgeons? I don’t think so.
It is true that more is not necessarily more. Long-winded treatises and never-ending sermons don’t automatically qualify you for more.
But I would be just as suspicious with the “less is more” theory as well. I would be happier if we measured a presentation, training or teaching by why and how it challenged the aspects of my personhood that need to become different. Then we could measure the same process by the fruit.
By the way, that’s what Jesus said. “You will know a tree by its fruit,” not its thirty-second ad campaign or extra offers.