It’s been almost thirty years since MTV started shrinking my attention span with three minute bursts of entertainment. The progression of technology since has made entertainment more readily available and more personal. If we’re measuring from the end of World War II, then it starts as a slow progression, but thanks to Moore’s Law (look it up), technology has advanced at an increasing rate which enables me to get to my point before I lose interest.
Here’s how it went:
1945 – Radio – baseball was edge-of-your-seat exciting.
1955 – TV – 3 Channels. You’d watch a monkey washing a cat. You’d damn sure watch baseball.
1965 – Still just 3 Channels. Your choices were watch Vietnam or watch baseball. In two years you could add Star Trek to the list.
1975- 5 TV channels – baseball was still slow and no one noticed. We even sometimes listened to games on the radio for the nostalgia, and so we wouldn’t have to see Rollie Fingers’ mustache.
1985 – Cable TV – more channels. Should we watch baseball or 540 music videos. Tough choice, steroid abuse made baseball a little more appealing, which made the choice easier.
1995 – Internet – Baseball or porn? Why not both. You may not know this, but the history of the Internet dates back to the 1960’s. Formal Internet Protocols were established in 1982. Chances are, you first experienced it in the mid to late 1990’s. Then checking your email or chatting via AOL were such novelties that they interrupted most of your life.
2003 – MySpace. Birth of social networking. More distraction.
2006 – Facebook. Ever growing need to know what your third cousin ate for lunch. Baseball seems kind of boring in contrast
2007 – iPhone. OMG! Social networking in my pocket. The whole Internet to look at while Jeter fouls twenty consecutive pitches.
2010 – iPad / Android phones / Android tablets. I’m streaming the exciting parts of the game real time thanks to my nifty MLB app. There’s no need to spend three hours (or four if it’s on FOX, thanks to the three minute commercial breaks) if I can watch it in three minutes. Besides I’m playing Words with Friends, checking email, updating Twitter, and watching a monkey wash a cat on YouTube. Who cares what’s happening on the TV.