Finger selecting icon

SEX! FIRE! HELP!

Okay! Now that I got your attention, let’s talk about it.

You see, attention is precious and now it is being commodified as a resource. Well, you might not be someone who thinks your attention is valuable, but think of it from the suppliers’ point of view. There are thousands of pages on the internet and every one of these pages is wanting some traffic to get directed to them.

How do they get this traffic? By attracting your attention – by persuading you with design or interesting titles of clickbait to click and spend more time on their pages. And that’s how we have generated the term ‘Attention Economy’.

As per Matthew Crawford, “Attention is a resource; a person has only so much of it.” Well, if you look at it properly, it was always the case, even with television. We always gave our attention to a specific TV channel or a show. That’s why TV channels tried hard to modify specific favorite shows while canceling shows which did not draw many people to them.

With the internet, the scales have changed. The internet has almost completely eliminated the barrier for entry in the competition. Granted that there are people who have no internet connection, but those who do can take the role of both consumers and producers. They can create a website or blog easily, spread information, and try to attract people’s attention. That’s how the ‘Like’ button has been formulated by most social media. ‘Like’ indicates that you have at least acquired part of the attention of a consumer.

The overload of information on the internet has resulted in the poverty of attention. There has to be a balance between both information and attention – we have only one thing as a constant – we have 24 hours’ time in our hand. Our attention is, thus, limited. On the other hand, information continues to multiply. We must find a way to balance out such an abundance of information and our attention. It has become more precious than ever. Attention Economy has become a reality for suppliers who deal with the economy of supply and demand.

So, now what are we to do with this precious commodity with our limited time?

“What we do with our attention, what we are able to do with our attention is the metric of privilege, if you will, but what we do with our attention matters more now than ever before.”

My friends Marc Angelo & Garrett Adkins here at the Academy have gone one step further and made this amazing video on the same topic of Attention Economy. You can learn more about the topic and maybe we can have a conversation. Let me know!

Mayukh Saha

View Profile