Internet Culture

Day 917 and Attention Budget

We act like our attention is a static thing. You have reading habits and social media patterns and your attention is allocated to what makes the most sense for whatever demographic you have settled into for your life choices. But it can always be changed. And maybe your attention choices don’t serve you.

We have fantasies about our independent mindedness, especially in America. But we are all a product of other people’s attentional priorities. What you are focused on is quite often molded especially for you.

It’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry, when in fact, you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room… from a pile of “stuff.”

Take the principle of this iconic scene from The Devil Wears Prada and apply it to every single area of your life where you made a choice as a consumer, worker, hobbiest, parent or any other identity with a collective meaning.

I’m taking this problem very seriously at the moment as we may be in for a significant attention economy realignment. Big chunks of the social internet appear to be up for grabs as legacy networks like Twitter, Reddit and Stackoverflow go through significant identity alignments issues as competitive pressures from artificial intelligence and increased attention allocation automation. The algorithms are fighting for you.

None of this is bad or good necessarily. Some of it is us fighting to make make some areas more competitive and perhaps other areas will be shown to be unsustainable. And sometimes it’s just management. Don’tk make the mistake of dickriding for someone that is as human as you or I. Stay smart out there and think critically for yourself.