Trump is a Wake Up Call on Social Dialogue

This US presidential election cycle has been unique in many ways. One of them has been the rhetorical tactics of Donald Trump.

Like it or not, one has to admit that Trump has found an audience. While his comments are often divisive and even devoid of logic, certain voters gravitate to him because of the way he speaks to them.

How does this work? How could it be that voters connect with this type of messaging? The answer may be simpler than it appears on the surface.  From BI

Research has shown that since the 1960s, the length of the average news sound bite has shrunk from more than 40 seconds long to about eight or nine seconds. Much of the extra time is now devoted to punditry and analysis of short clips,

Trump exploits this by using divisive nicknames and very simple calls to action. It matters not whether the message is superficial or even nonsense. It breaks through in the 9 second attention span.

That tells us something about ourselves. If we continue down this road, we may find that social discourse becomes more and more difficult. That is sobering.

If this is the problem, what is the solution? What can we do to provide incentives to develop smarter discourse?

Good question. Stay tuned on that one.


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