So there’s this new platform called Popcorn.js – check it out. It basically gives you a little sidebar next to the videos so people can view other “things” associated with the video, while the video is playing.
This article from Wired suggests that filmmakers and coders will want to join forces and – using tools like Popcorn.js – create new “experiences” on the web. It purports to create a new layer of interactivity that will change the way we watch videos on the internet.
I’m all for innovation and creation, and I’m kind of in awe of web coders and the coolness they create. I do not, however, think that what the world needs is another way for people to have their attention span split into 15 different branches. There is this push to create more “interactivity” and create “less passive” experiences for people – but how much stimulus can we handle at once?
Forget for a minute that the reason I make a video or a film or something with pictures that move is because I want people to WATCH IT. I don’t want them to kind of see it in the corner of their eye and then be able to focus on something slightly related but which ultimately has very little to do with the imagery I’ve arranged. I want people to SEE what I’ve done. Considering it’s a video, and all.
But forget that for a second – is this actually a good idea? Do people actually need this? Is it a good idea to create MORE simultaneous stimuli for people, when their attention spans are short enough already? What will happen to our once-renowned ability to focus on one thing for more than 8 seconds?
Stories like this make me worry about a future world in which nobody really knows anything because they’ve never sat still long enough to learn it. Everybody moves and operates in what will be known as life increments, in which every 4.5 seconds your entire being switches over to something completely different, and you follow that path until the next increment, and so on.
I guess it won’t matter then anyway, because by that point we’ll be able to simply close our eyes and download all the information we need, so people will need something to occupy their time I guess.
And the irony of it all is, I started this article with not one but TWO hyperlinks to other information, which in turn contain other hyperlinks to still further away locations on the internet. If you’ve managed to get this far, I’m very impressed, and yet also slightly sad for you: You and your kind are not long for this world.