What Does it Mean to Market in a “Distracted Present”?

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on January 12
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constantnow.pngHow did we go from past/present/future to now/now/now... ?

Popular media critics like Douglas Rushkoff , and scholars like Bernard Stiegler (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), and Duke Univerisity's Katherine Hayles have long discussed the implications of distraction on our experience of time and its consequent impact on human thought. They argue that much of the content presented through digital interfaces—from video games to social media—is creating a form of “distracted present” in which human capacities for imagination, long-term thinking and careful reflection are being broken down. Rather than developing “deep” modes of attention, based around temporally extended activities such as reading, these social create a ‘hyper’ attention, where increasing levels of stimulation are required to keep viewers interested in a s

ingle subject or topic. As a result, we do not focus adequate attention to reflecting on the past, nor do commit adequate focus on the future.  Instead of a “big picture” view of our lives seated within an extended past and prison, distractions imprison us within the narrow horizon of a constant “now.”

How do marketers respond?  How do we develop content that encourages reflection and pulls outide a constant now?  We can start by presenting content that poses precisely these kinds of big questions.

For tips on effective marketing in an Age of Distraction, read our piece on how to balance simplicity with relevant, long-form content.

For a more extensive overview of distraction and it is implications for marketing, read our piece on marketing in the age of distraction.

Both articles are available on the MarketScale blog

For more on the concept of a ‘Distracted Present,’ see Douglas Rushkoff, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now

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