Why impressing people gets harder every day

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

We changed a lot

Few days ago i was watching an old black and white movie. I kept laughing at how naive the movie was. Things seemed to predictable, the actors were over reacting to very normal things and the serious moments seemed too funny to me.

But was that the response of people when they first saw the movie?
Of course no. Those types of movies were very impressive to the audience at the time they were released. In other words what seems naive right now was considered complex and unpredictable back then.

So what happened to us?
Simply we changed.

If you have a kid am pretty sure you already noticed that he doesn't get easily impressed. Just try to impress that kid the same way you used to get impressed and you will notice that he will find what you are doing very ridiculous.

What is happening to us?

In order to understand why people are becoming harder to impress you need to first understand what impresses people. People get impressed when they see a novel thing that they haven't seen before.

When a person sees something he compares it to his experience database to determine whether it's novel enough or not. If the person realized that he has seen a similar thing before then that thing won't be considered that impressive.

What happened to generation X, Y and generation Z is that their world became too connected through the internet that they have seen too many things in a very short period of time. A typical 7 years old these days has seen more than a typical 15 years old years earlier.

Did you notice that the latest release of the movie mad max got extremely high ratings?
Did you realize what was good about the movie?

The movie was simply extremely novel and bizarre. There were so many novel and unexplained things in the movie and this is why it impressed most of the audience.

Just take a look at the popular videos on Youtube these days. You will find that they are anything but predictable or normal. See also why some people find everthing boring.

It gets harder everyday

As technology advances people gain more life experience and see many things at a very young age. As a result those people find so many things predictable and uninteresting. Before the internet any funny clip would have been a breakthrough but after you got exposed to thousands of those clips the new ones became less impressive.

I have said earlier that as the supply is increased we tend to become more selective. If you only have 2 TV channels then you will have to choose one to watch but when you have 1000 channels then most probably you will give each channel few seconds before you get bored and shift to another one unless you find something extremely appealing.

This is why each new product released today needs to do much more effort to keep customers impressed. This problem also keeps getting more complicated each day. As people keep seeing more movies they need to see more impressive movies in the future in order to get impressed.

This is also the reason why movie reviewers give some interesting movies very bad reviews. It's just the fact that they have seen too much that they don't get easily impressed anymore.

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