Judea Faith

Words

Attention Please!

The culture of blogging has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. What started off as a personal public space for teenage ramblings have now transformed and extended itself into a wildly popular tool even for professional and corporate purposes, adding to the ever engulfing content on our various screens — and our minds.

The total amount of content in the world has dwarfed any individual’s ability to consume everything. ‘Content is KING’; that’s what they have always said. However, its abundance and over-saturation have made it a problematic king. We have far too many choices to be able to pay attention to all of them. Content creation is not the problem any long, but attention is. We have evolved into being an attention economy.

Attention is the new ‘scarce resource’ that brands and organizations are now after. It is not sufficient for them to just monopolize our time any longer, but they need our full-fledged engagement as well. This kind of sought after attention cannot be bought, forced, but it has to be earned.

“To truly see, you must pay attention”

You can pay attention to something voluntarily, or you can have it snatched away by a paid advertisement on Youtube. You can stare right at something, which is overt attention, and you can pretend not to while still focusing on it, which is covert. Attention is socially directed, which is to say you can draw someone’s attention to something by focusing your gaze on it, which is known as joint attention. Most importantly, you have a limited capacity for attention, which restricts how much information you can derive from sensory stimulus at a time. (Yakob, 2015)

This leaves me to reflect and think about what kind of attention do I have left to spare, and what kind of attention am I giving away. What kind of attention am I getting, or want to get? Not only that, what kind of attention do I want to broadcast through this blog?

Yakob (2015) wrote about the human desire to spread our own ideas. We pass on our ideas in order to ‘create people whose minds think like ours’, because this delivers an evolutionary advantage: there is safety in numbers. Any time we communicate anything to anyone, we are attempting to change the way their brains operate. We are attempting to change their view of the world so that it more closely resembles our own. I would like to do the same through this blog; to show people the parts of the world through my lens, and to attract even more like-minded individuals with my writing.

Thank you for your attention.

Judea Faith