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Streaming Services: Short and Sweet?

By Darsh Mirchandani

In a growing generation of “iPad kids,” the digital consumption of media seems to be as prevalent as ever. However, this is not good news for all online platforms. Some platforms, especially YouTube, have been losing viewers since the end of the pandemic lockdown period.

YouTube has become embattled with controversies over the course of the past few years. To the great dismay of their users, YouTube removed the dislike counter from all videos on their platforms. This reduces transparency and removes one of the most important, simple and consequential ways that a user can express their displeasement with a video. Now, it seems that all companies are rushing to push short form content after the meteoric rise of TikTok. Short form content is usually composed of videos that last between 15 seconds and a minute. What began with TikTok has now grown into Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and Snapchat Spotlights. These platforms and their content have been observed to decrease the attention spans of students. Moreover, I have seen students that have their heads stuck in their phones watching videos rather than watching where they are walking. This results in more crowds in the hallways and longer times to get between classes.

Source by Lindsay Kim

The creation of YouTube Shorts allows users to spend less time on a particular video, which is ideal for those with shorter attention spans.

These issues can pose a much more serious issue to the student population than what it seems at face value. With students suffering from decreased attention spans and addiction, they start to fall behind on more than just school. Professional and social skills begin to suffer as some struggle to maintain conversations, manage time and interact with the real world. I will admit that I too am no stranger to these symptoms. I often find myself alone at the dinner table scrolling endlessly on my phone while I eat.

That is why I believe that decisive action should be taken by our nation's government, as well as on a school-wide scale. I believe that the government is fully wishing their rights to be investigating the security concerns relating to TikTok and their parent company, ByteDance. All I ask lawmakers is to fully investigate this matter and not allow this inquiry and action to be injudiciously prevented by lobbyists and special interests. On a school-wide level, I propose that administration and staff take measures to reprimand those that are not paying attention to their surroundings while walking, putting themselves and their peers at risk of harm. This issue is not one to be taken lightly, and it is one that could change the future active members of society for generations to come.


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