The Economy of Attention

I just read this article and found it insightful. I’ve been talking with my wife on this topic quite a lot lately as well. What are your thoughts?

1 Like

Yeah, it’s becoming tougher when there’s so much screaming for our attention. The latest political scandal, the shiny new trending toy or smart device, the fear of missing out, and the need to belong are the digital crack to feed our empty souls.

I’ve been struggling with the reflective thinking part to be able to reclaim a bit of my personality. It’s just so easy to be swayed into thinking one way or another when you hear about those social and political move,Mets. The sad part is that there are people, groups, or corporations that use technology to manipulate our views and divide us all. Argh, shaking my head when Facebook and social media was used so effectively in 2016 to twist our views in the US election as well as elections around the world. I’ve felt like a marionette being strung along by the puppet master.

I’ve slowly walked away from my facebook and twitter accounts. I’m rarely posting and mostly lurking nowadays. But even my lurking has been reduced to a trickle. My friends are asking me “what happened to you? I don’t see you posting on facebook/twitter.”

I’ve been walking away from all the over-sharing and media saturation. I have enough stimulation in my life to keep me occupied. I guess Facebook/Twitter/social media refers to me as the undesirable user base. Then they’ll try to entice me with some new technology to try to bring me back. The latest thing I’ve heard was that twitter will be doubling their 140 character tweet limit. Dunno if I wanna see super-sized tweets now.

With the amount of media over-saturation, it seems that our attention span dwindles too. One of my daughters’ friend claims to watch only YouTube videos and says that a one hour long weekly tv show is just too long. Argh, what have we become?

Now, how’s that for thoughts? Anyone else have any other observations?


I just Instapaper-ed this! I haven’t read it but will be for sure.

1 Like

It’s a curious thing to see folks building a thing and then step away from using the thing they built. We see the opposite recommended quite a bit, too. “If you build a tool, use it every day.” It’s solid advice and something I try to adopt as thoroughly as is feasible.

The theory is that if you truly believe in the tool and if you see it as something useful, you will employ it yourself. And by employing it, you will see the nuances and the shortcomings of the thing you’ve made. That is invaluable information for growth.

The flip side is that by separating from your creation, you not only lose this awareness but you also send a message to your users that there might be something wrong with it or that there’s a very negative side-effect of using your thing.

With all of this in mind, it will make you wonder what’s going on when smartphone creators themselves are using them less and less. :thinking:

I’m really hoping we will see some changes out of Silicon Valley and that our society will learn. Social media is causing skyrocketing depression and suicide rates in teens. People have a sense of “connectedness” without a real sense of being known. That means relationships can feel false and surfacey. Nobody can thrive there. I hate feeling like my attention is constantly wanted, needed, and manipulated. That’s why I don’t use social media, pay for cable TV, or allow ads on websites. I don’t need that thing. I don’t need to compare my life to someone’s highlight reel. I want something real. The internet and this culture can be a gateway to real relationships if used well, but there’s a level of intentionality required in which not everyone is willing to partake.

1 Like