Are you reading or are you dancing?

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Do you know what is the most valuable currency in our days that everyone is fighting for and doesn’t cost a thing?

Attention!

Take for example social media. Apps like Facebook, TikTok, and the like do their best to catch and keep your attention as much as possible! Why… Because they are for free… And this means only one thing. We are the product! You obviously know already their business model and the fact that they make their income from the ads they show you. In order to keep your attention they track you and find out what you like and not, what catches your attention and not, and constantly adapt the content they will show you in order to keep your eyes on them and have the opportunity to show you more ads.

The difficulty of a blogger

In a world flooded with visual messages like videos, images, gifs, etc., text is a very difficult medium to get and keep someone’s attention. Especially when it doesn’t come in the form of short slogans or funny memes. Even more so when it is a long text written by somebody you don’t know personally and maybe don’t really care about what he has to say.

I know that blogs are a medium in past decades. It is an old-fashioned way of expressing your ideas and thoughts. It requires some kind of devotion and commitment to read a whole post. In a recent post, I received a comment that it was too long to read it. The post was about 1000 words. On average the silent reading speed is about 175 to 300 words per minute for non-fiction text. This means that a post of about 1000 words needs about 4 to 6 minutes to read. More or less half a tanda.

A common blogging joke says that most blogs have an average audience of 1 person. Why is that so?… Because as I said… It takes time to read a post. Time that you can easily spend watching a video, listening to a podcast, or scrolling on your feed for new funny Tango memes. Blog posts don’t just need your attention… they need you to work… read… concentrate… imagine… reflect… etc. They need you to pay attention and commit yourself to reading them.

So why a blog?

I am no teacher or organizer of events. I am also no DJ to advertise my next gigs. So the purpose of this blog is not to promote any kind of work I do. I have a totally different job as a software engineer and I write these posts just because… well… actually… I don’t really know why. I guess I just wanted to share my thoughts with someone… even if this someone is just a couple of friends.

When the whole thing started it was just short texts on Facebook. Later on, I decided to move them on a blog because it was the closest form to simple Facebook posts plus it was easier to transfer to. I often thought of recording myself reading them in a podcast but then I thought that blog posts fit better with Tango for two main reasons

First of all, it is one of the most old-fashioned ways to express your thoughts on the internet existing long before the presence of social media. Tango is also an old-fashioned dance… (which obviously evolved but that is a point for another post)

Second and most important it is a blog targeting Tango dancers. We are trained to keep our attention focused on another person (often a stranger) for about 10 minutes that a tanda lasts. Whoever dances without focusing on their partners is probably dancing something else… not Tango. So why not be able to focus ourselves on a text (often from a stranger) for half the time especially when it has to do with our passion? Right? It shouldn’t be that hard…

Reading as a dancing exercise

So here is my suggestion if you think a blog post is long enough to read. You can think of reading it as dancing to Half a Tanda with me. Brace yourselves, commit, and give me your attention for those 4 to 6 minutes. It may be a good tanda… It may be a bad tanda… It may be… Who knows? It’s always a surprise. At least this way you can practice keeping your attention focused for that period.

Now if you really want to make the tanda fun and interesting here are some more suggestions. If you consider me the leader in this tanda (since I initiate the move with my texts), and you the follower… then don’t be a simple passive follower that I will forget in the next second. Be a memorable one.

  • If you click on a like or another reaction on social media it feels like you give me a nice thank you hug for the nice tanda.
  • If you comment then it feels like you are suggesting things while we dance. You propose a different tone, you set an emotion, and you point out a detail in the music that I missed. And if you want to avoid publicity, you can always comment and send me feedback in personal messages or email.
  • If you share my posts with your own personal comment it feels like you do both of the above and then start another tanda yourself with your own friends. The joy and the fun spreads even wider and the milonga is getting hotter with every share!

Tonight’s Goodnight Tango

Now that you know how to make this fun let’s have fun like the one described in Tonight’s Goodnight Tango.

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