Imagine if people went to the theatre or the movies and stood up and walked out after the first six seconds. Imagine if people went to the senior prom and bailed on their date three seconds after the car pulled away from the curb.
The majority of people who sign up for a new online service rarely or never use it. The majority of YouTube videos are watched for just a few seconds. Chatroulette institutionalizes the glance and click mentality. I'm guessing that more than half the people who started reading this post never finished it.If people give up on a blog post you've written, is it their fault, or yours? In all likelihood, whatever you were saying just wasn't interesting enough. On the Internet, switching between content is extremely cheap and easy, so the standard of "interesting enough to keep reading or watching" is dauntingly high. Not to mention that much of your audience is looking at your site during work.
This is one of the starkest examples of opportunity cost I know of: time spent reading subpar blog posts takes time away from reading superior blog posts, or doing other activities. Therefore, I really can't fault online readers for being so demanding.
Perhaps the most famous proponent of this mentality is George Mason University economics professor Tyler Cowen. In his book "Discover Your Inner Economist," he writes:
When should we finish a book we have started? In this regard I am extreme. If I start ten books maybe I will finish one of them. I feel no compunction to keep reading. Why not be brutal about this? Is this book the best possible book I can be reading right now, of all the books in the world? For me at least, the answer is usually (but not always) no. Whatever is the best possible book to be reading, I am willing to buy it or otherwise track it down. Most other books don’t make the cut.Unless you know me personally (and perhaps even if you do), reading Econ Tricks is probably an inefficient use of your time. Why read a 2-month-old blog written by a grad student when there's so much out there on any of my topics written by people who are more intelligent, more experienced, more articulate, and more highly credentialed than I am?