Cariño, why do I hear myself in the audios as if I were a parrot? “Because you accidentally activated the ‘faster mode’ of WhatsApp, grandma, that’s why you listen to everything much faster, at twice the speed,” I tell her. “And what is that for?” He replies. Well, that’s what I ask myself… what is it for? To save time? for him to get out check of ‘hearing’ the person who sends you the audio and that it does not seem that you ignore them?
First there were the audio messages to avoid writing; then, the self-dictation to prevent the audios from being eternalized and, now, the x2 audios. It is the law of minimum effort and maximum effectiveness, dictated by urgency in an era in which, overwhelmed by the impacts and availability of content, it seems that time is not enough for us to see and hear everything.
The average speed of speech is about 125 words per minute; the human brain can process 800 per minute
This growing tendency to listen to messages, podcast, audiobooks and even watching series at twice the speed is on its way to becoming a philosophy of life and its acolytes already have a name: the fasters, protected, positively, for having grown accustomed to multitasking (although that is limited to attending to several screens at the same time) and subjected, negatively, to an anxiety that becomes unhealthy, judging by the data on depression among younger.
There are already too many options to choose from, too much content to select just one… how to digest it all? Well speeding up the process. At double speed. But do you know something? It depends. Users and advocates of double-speed listening argue that it is like diagonal reading. Not everyone knows or can practice it, but for those who have developed the technique and have a brain capable of processing language quickly, it is just as effective.
And the fasters, furthermore, they become so ‘addicted’ that they can’t go back to normal speed—after setting it to 1.5X or even double it—because of impatience.
Does biology support them?
Neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf calls it “cognitive impatience.” «When we read diagonally, we lose critical capacity and even empathy… When we browse, which is what we do in front of the screen, we do not use the central lobe! We do not analyze critically.
To Wolf – who defends the return to reading on paper – the current trend of listening to audios or watching series at twice the speed already exceeds it. But his reasoning about this new behavior only implies that for those who practice it, the risk of losing the capacity for analysis and effort is doubled. We have traded study time and page touch for immediacy and finger swipe across the screen, he says. The desire to reach the end without enjoying the process prevails. But it does not seem that his recommendations are in line with the times.
Listening to audio at double speed affects the risk that the neurologist Maryanne Wolf already attributed to our reading less: the ability to analyze is lost
David Chen, host and producer of the podcast film and television slashfilmcastrecently took a survey asking, “Do you ever listen to podcast or do you watch TV/movies at a faster speed than set? Of 1,505 users who responded, 79 percent answered, “No, it’s an abomination.” But 16 percent admitted that they did it with the podcast, and 5 percent said they did it not only with the podcast, but also with movies and television series.
are they crazy faster? Are they geeks hooked on digital consumption? Well not so much. To the fasters Biology backs them up.
Unlike learned skills like reading, writing, or speaking, human hearing is a natural activity that requires minimal effort on the part of anyone without physical disabilities. The physiological reason our minds wander while someone is telling us a story, even when we’re trying to listen carefully, is because the human brain is capable of processing words much faster than a person can speak.
In response to auditory stress, the body needs to do something to control the adrenaline. In a bar: order another round, eat more… Spend more money
According to an Ohio University study, an adult spends approximately 70 percent of their time communicating in one way or another: 9 percent is spent writing, 16 percent reading, 30 percent speaking, and 45 percent listening. . The average speed of speech is about 125 words per minute; the human brain can process about 800 in the same amount of time.
What does this mean? That a person can perfectly understand an audio at twice the speed if the speaker speaks at the correct speed. The responsibility lies with the sender, not the receiver. Attention is reduced when doing several things simultaneously, but not the understanding itself: if you watch a chapter at twice the speed, it doesn’t matter so much if you don’t watch things on your mobile at the same time. It is not perceived in the same way, of course, some sound effects of a podcast, such as music, to keep only what is ‘important’. In the same way that you can eat a dish just to get nutrients or you can enjoy the flavors, but the ultimate goal is the same: to eat.
The dream of creating more time
Seth Horowitz, author of the book The universal sense: how hearing shapes the mind, argues that our brain takes at least a quarter of a second to process visual recognition, but can recognize a sound in 0.05 seconds. This hearing speed allowed our ancestors to hear the snap of a twig in the woods at night. However —Horowitz explains in his book—, we are programmed to disconnect from non-essential sound, so that sensory overload does not result. An overload that our body notices and to which it tends to react.
For example, did you know that when you are in a bar, all the noise, the clink of glasses, the shout of the bartender, the fight of a couple at the next table or a door slamming activates the fight or flight system of our body? ? In response to that, the body wants to do something, anything, to control the adrenaline coursing through its veins. In this case, at the bar, that means spending money. Eat more, order another round.
Horowitz’s study could not go unnoticed by experts in marketing, obviously. The speed at which we listen is related to behavior and, consequently, to consumption.
hear a podcast at twice the speed makes us want to buy more? In the absence of specific studies, one piece of information made the hare jump…
Laura Gaines, vice president of Prime Image, a maker of devices that shorten audio and video recordings, reported that some broadcasters were using the technology to fit more ads in the same time block. It turns out that it was not an isolated phenomenon. ‘Create more time’ is the purpose of several new technology applications that allow listeners to pick up the pace of listening and content producers to create content with that in mind. Subliminal advertising has not only become more sophisticated over the years, but has also accelerated. And he threatens to do it even more.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.