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Swipe up -- the death of long form media

2022-01-02

The past few years have been what some might call, distinctively disappointing for the media industry. As lives become busier and busier, it gets hard to find time for reading an article or watching a whole documentary; or even watching a video on how to make some novelty food item. A 30 second tiktok on the other hand, seems much enticing, mostly because it is a thirty second tiktok and once you start swiping up, everything is a blur. Every single pointless video of people doing things for clout that would shame most of you reading this, or videos of DIY "hacks" that are basically just rube-goldberg replacements of tools that can be bought at your nearest store, is a gateway into more of that nonsense.

On top of all this, the worst part is that this method of short attention span media production is getting very popular. So much so, that nearly ALL social media platforms have incorporated this in one way or other. I would like to state at this point that I am in no way, a "tik-tok hater", but it is the truth that this form of information transmission is bound to bring in some form of misinformation. For example, take the tiktoks of financial advice making rounds on the internet. No doubt they might be people with experience and knowledge on those subjects, but a minute long video is not enough to provide sound financial advice. There are regional laws and bylaws which may or may not be allowed in your place of residence, but the small video cannot cover every aspect of it. Besides, these videos are a breeding ground for scams. Scammers find their targets with short attention spans watching these and lure them in with get-rich-quick schemes hidden among good willed financial advice. This kind of thing is pretty prevalent these days and the topics range from investment schemes, law and marketing, to "life hacks" which may or may not be legal at all! The worst part is, social media giants are coercing content creators into making more of this type of media so much that if you are content creator and have not touched one form of "swipe-up" on your platform, your reach will die out. Yes! To make sure that your content gets to your audience, you have to create short-form content no matter what.

This is an endemic and while it serves its own purpose, people need to realize that at some point it will bite them back and its best to use it as what it is: mindless content for when you have free time. In the end, I recommend trying to find more text based content whenever possible, as it takes time to write and there is a pretty good chance that the author wrote it because they wanted to and not because their platform told them to.

Shubh Ratri.

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