15 seconds. Short sentences. Images and diagrams.
That’s all that our brains can consume in one sitting.
The days of long articles and YouTube videos over 10 minutes are coming to an end, overtaken by memes and 10 second Tik Tok’s.
This has forced content creators and writers, like me, to deeply look into what our goals are.
For following the masses and switching to short videos will result in views and attention, but diminish the quality of our work.
I’ve battled with this problem for many months now. I write to encourage discussion and challenge people with my ideas, but my posts have to be engaging and draw viewers’ attention to achieve this goal. Do I try to fit my 600-word blog articles into a 15 second Tik Tok video and reduce my work quality to enable engagement from a wider audience? Or do I continue to prioritise the quality of my work and hope that people still find time to read?
I’ve attempted most forms of social media or visual media that is possible. I’ve made short videos, medium-length videos, live streams, podcast episodes, poems, short articles, long articles, and full-length reports. What got the most views? The short-length videos that were under 10 seconds. What got the most engagement? The articles and videos that were longer and of higher quality.
Would you rather have 10 friends who only know you on the surface-level or one friend who profoundly knows you and you can talk to about anything? I’ll take the one strong friendship every day of the week, and that is the same for my blog.
I’ve tried to transform my blog to fit the changing way our society views media, but although that may increase views, it’s ultimately not valuable. It’s the meaningful conversations, messages of support and new connections that form through carefully moulded and created forms of media that provide lasting joy and satisfaction.
I always thought it was a battle between me and the world. But, in reality, there was never a battle other than the one in my head. I can continue to write and produce media that can be engaging, and although it may take longer to grow, the reward will be so much greater because I am achieving my own success.
My encouragement to anyone reading this is to do what you love and don’t let society alter your passions or what brings you joy. In a world where people are defined by their follower count and the number of likes they receive, it can be easy to change your style, product or passion for views. To limit yourself to increase popularity. But I challenge and encourage you to not let these numbers dictate your decisions but allow the conversations you have, the people you meet and the joy from doing what you love to guide you as that will bring you YOUR success. Not what society defines as success.
For society’s definition of success is superficial and shallow. Whereas, when we live to achieve our own success, we build motivation, grow in ourselves and form meaningful connections that are fulfilling and everlasting.