October 3, 2023

The Effects of Short-Form Videos

By Audrey Adams

Why does my attention span seem to be getting shorter and shorter? If you’re like me, sitting through a lecture or a movie just feels different. I noticed this change after I downloaded TikTok and when every social media app I had started to adapt to short-form videos. Let’s talk about it. 

The short-form videos are designed to capture people’s attention quickly. This provides immediate entertainment and information in what feels like – a very fast world. The fast-paced editing, trendy music, and engaging visuals trigger the brain’s reward system. Instant gratification creates a sense of pleasure and satisfaction, leading viewers to seek more and more videos. I don’t know about you but when I hear “P for Papas. It’s a Papas party” with a kitty dancing, it sure does make me happy. 

Given the sheer amount of content we can find online mixed with instant gratification leads to “endless scrolling”. Social media platforms are designed to keep users engaged and scrolling for extended periods of time. What feels like an endless feed keeps me up at 2 a.m. and leads to mindless browsing of cat and cooking videos. 

The repetitive nature of endlessly scrolling through short-form videos can lead to habit formation. Engaging in the behavior of checking social media for several videos a day can become compulsive and automatic. The more ingrained the habit becomes, the more challenging it is to break away from it, resulting in addictive patterns of behavior.

It is important to be mindful of how much media you are consuming and to know when to call it a day and go touch some grass outside. That being said, let’s discuss why short-form videos have become so popular along with their benefits. 

Short-form videos are limited in length, remember Vine? The brief videos allow for quick, easy consumption of content. This is ideal for users who have limited time and offers a quick dose of information, entertainment, or a laugh. These short videos can also be great for content creators. With limited time, creators can creatively innovate new ways of capturing attention. Short-form videos encourage concise, accessible storytelling. 

Short-form videos can be easily accessible to a wide range of people, regardless of their internet connection or device capabilities. They can be quickly loaded and viewed on smartphones, making them popular in regions with limited internet access. Additionally, short-form videos often have subtitles or visual cues, making them more inclusive to individuals with hearing impairments.

Overall, short-form videos can be a great way to connect to entertainment but we need to be mindful of its effects. 

Connect with Audrey on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/audrey-adams-07a93a201/

7 thoughts on “The Effects of Short-Form Videos

  1. Hi Audrey,
    I really enjoyed reading your article! I agree that our generation has shorter attention spans, therefore short videos tend to be more appealing to us on social media. TikTok can be super addicting and sometimes I find myself scrolling for long periods of time without even realizing it. TikTok is also an easy way for companies/influencers to reach a large audience while promoting their products or personal brands.

  2. Hi Audrey,

    I also wrote about short form content! It’s interesting to read your blog as a perspective of short form as a consumer versus I wrote about how businesses and brands can use it to their advantage. I really appreciate your connection between how short form content can easily reach audiences, but also how it is impacting the consumers cognitive process on a deeper level. It’s important for us as soon-to-be communications professionals to constantly be thinking and analyzing these changes in communication channels.

  3. Hi Audrey! I enjoyed reading your article because I feel like it is such a problem for our generation to be able to sit through a video that is longer than a minute or so. I know that personally I find myself getting uninterested in a video if it goes longer than a normal TikTok length. I think it honestly really works in the favor of companies promoting themselves because they don’t have to come up with long, intensive content to entertain their audiences.

  4. Hi Audrey! You’ve highlighted an important aspect of the modern media landscape. Short-form videos indeed captivate our attention with their fast-paced editing and instant gratification. However, it’s crucial to maintain a balance and be mindful of our media consumption. Awareness of the addictive nature of scrolling and setting limits is key. Great insights!

  5. Hi Audrey! This post really caught my eye because just last week I caught myself scrolling on my phone while I was watching a movie. I literally started laughing because between my roommate and I there were 5 screens open. It’s so interesting how our brains are now programed to need shorter content to keep ourselves engaged. It’s something I want to be more mindful of!

  6. Hi Audrey!
    I really enjoyed reading this because it’s definitely become a problem! I can barely watch movies anymore because it feels way too long. But yet, I can go on TikTok for hours on end. I agree with you; we all need to be mindful and aware of the addictive nature it causes.

  7. Hi Audrey!

    I enjoyed reading this. I’ve always thought that short-form videos were put to good use in a business perspective. However, this is the first time that I’m reading how it could negatively affect a consumer with this. It definitely opened my eyes because I have no patience into listening to long lectures or videos anymore. But when it comes to Tiktok or Instagram Reels, I’m about to watch it with no problems because I know in the back of my head, it’s shorter and I don’t have that much attention span in me anymore.

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