The common abbreviation in Internet language, tl;dr, means “too long; didn’t read.” It refers to an extensive text that the person did not feel like taking the time to read. The abbreviation sometimes prefaces a short summary of a longer text.
Some use tl;dr as a criticism of long prose—the post or article ought to be shorter!
Internet readers skim text. Gone are the days of careful analysis. Meditation? A lost art.
So follow these rules for dealing with ultra-short attention spans.
- Edit, then edit some more. If you write and post, readers will pass you by. Get rid of the fluff. Revision is more important than ever.
- Get to the point. State your thesis in the first line or paragraph.
- Say your piece, then shut up. The shorter, the better. If needed, do a follow-up. Or explain in the comments.
To be heard, fit your message to an impatient world. Going long means losing their attention.