Why is it, I wonder, that our attention is best held by morsels of information, snippets of a story, parts of a picture?
And those morsels have to be, it seems, distributed in a certain rhythm: wait too long, and people lose interest; give them too many installments in a given space of time, and after a short and intense hype, things will peter out.
Our minds are able to process a lot of input amazingly fast, but for some reason, we do not always want to know the whole story or see the full picture at once. Instead, we prefer being fed morsels.
Or how else is the success of seemingly eternal sitcoms and soap operas explainable, of series of books that go on for volumes and volumes about the same characters?
Whether this has to do with the biochemical structure of our brains or with the way the average human psyche works (one to a certain extend conditioning the other), I do not know.
But it is a topic I find intriguing, and it concerns me in quite a personal way.
Every now and then, I make the acquaintance of someone new; be it at work, in one of the online communities I am part of, in the neighbourhood or anywhere else.
Sometimes, I take an instant liking to the new person, and I have a tendency to flood the poor recipient of my attention with a lot of information about myself, to the point of probably overwhelming them with my (rather naive) openness.
Having made this experience several times in the past, I thought I'd learnt my lesson and have become more cautious in my approach, parsimoniously talking about my own background, my job, my interests and opinions.
And yet, I still seem to be too outgoing and too generous towards some of my acquaintances, not getting much (if any) response anymore after a while.
It would be a lie to say it does not hurt when that happens, because it does.
But I only have myself to blame.