What explains the popularity and increasing prevalence of sound bites? It is more than simply Twitter’s 140 character limitations, because the blight began earlier.
First of all, laziness, ignorance, and prejudice provide one explanation. People satisfy themselves with artificial information, like taking crack cocaine to block out reality. Thought is too much trouble and can be troubling. Simplistic soundbites satisfy the natural inkling that some knowledge is necessary.
Next, it is much easier to stir up emotions (a la Glenn Beck) by distorting issues, ignoring facts, and outright lies. Equal time to different aspects of an argument might lead people to reach the “wrong” conclusion. Demagogues and pundits want only one side to be known, so that must be presented simplistically. Solid information might dampen emotions.
Of course, none of this explains why education has been reduced, watered down, or neglected. Then again, less educated people are more easily placated with simplistic sound bites. Perhaps politicians know what they’re doing by dumbing down the population…
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.