'I Dare You to Watch This Entire 3-Minute Video'

How short has the Internet made your attention span?
More

It’s an era of great attentional need. Tweets, texts, sexts, and open browser tabs: They clamor for our limited attention, and we flit from one to the other, never quite focusing on any of them. Or so the maker of this video insists.

He challenges viewers: Can you actually watch—can you pay attention—to a three-minute video?

You probably can’t.

He says: “I dare you to pay attention to a three-minute video.” Do it without GChatting, without Face-looking, without Insta-glancing.

You may find the man’s suit or manner a little too over-the-top. You might find his apocalyptic point a little naïve. (Way back in 1821, Percy Bysshe Shelley fretted about information overload.) I had all those thoughts too. Yet I found the video useful, compelling, and unwatchably watchable. It combines I-can’t-finish-this with I-can’t-look-away.

It’s also, to quote Jody Avirgan of WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, totally fantastic and unexpected.”

And—to paraphrase Avirgan again—it might even be art.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In