TL;DR. Truth? Or Something Else?

TL;DR.

You know, I have a love/hate relationship with that damned acronym.

Why?

1) For things I’m interested in or love, I have an attention span longer than a gnat’s.
2) For things I’m not interested in or love, I have an attention span shorter than a gnat’s
3) Writing anything trying to attract people who fall into category #2 MAKES ME A #2.

None of the above has anything really to do with word count. It has everything to do with the quality of the words offered.

If it’s too short and it shows, I don’t go back. I write it off. I don’t bookmark the site.

Why?

My impression is: The story or the message is incomplete and the writer obviously couldn’t be bothered to finish the thought properly. It’s a literary “Whatever, man”, an “IDK”, a dismissal of my intelligence and time.

In return, I pretty much consider the writing lame and shallow as fuck.

In other words, in writing for the LCD, how many people are we turning away who would otherwise stay to read what we’ve got?

The assertion that people (implication: everyone on the fucking planet other than me) are simply unable or unwilling to read anything longer than 250 words on the internet completely discounts amazing writers who have more than 250 words to say, as well as intelligent readers who want more to read.

My current favorites:
Warren Ellis: Orbital Operations. Here is a sample post.
Neil Gaiman: Neil Gaiman’s Journal

To be sure, the text portions on both of these blogs might not be hella long, but with the inclusion of pictures, you must scroll through several frames to read the entire post. Both blogs generally have more than 250 words of text.

I’m not a fan of infinite scroll myself, given the sheer inability to zero in on something specific without having to scroll through everything you don’t want a single frame at a time (I’m looking at YOU Facebook!), but scrolling to the end of a 1000 word entry is a piece of cake, even when on my smartphone. 1000 words is about 2.5 pages at 380 words per page, 4 pages if we are limited to 250 words per page.

Just when did 251 words become universally too taxing to read?

When people throw TL;DR at me, is it because there were too many words or they just dislike scrolling past the bottom of the top frame? And are these people using only a tablet or smartphone to read anything on the internet? How hard can it be to tap or scroll to the next frame, even on a device smaller than a laptop?

Well, people don’t have time to read “all that” on their smartphone, I’m told.

Really? How much time can one save by calling someone and having a 90-second voice conversation instead of typing it out on your thumbs and taking 5 minutes to convey the same amount of information? That’s 3.5 minutes you could have otherwise saved to do something else.

What would you do with that extra time?

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe read something longer than 250 words?

What a radical idea.

Jump on it.

Note: Word count, not including the title: 532.

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