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The Value Of Attention

Posted on:April 29, 2021 at 12:13 PM

You Won the Lottery!

Each day we win the attention lottery. We’re each gifted with 24 glorious hours to spend our attention how we choose. This conscious attention, I would argue, is the most valuable currency in the known universe. What an amazing gift!

Unfortunately, many lottery winners throw their winnings at boats, cars, and other frivolous endeavors only to end up where they started a few short years later. Likewise, we tend to squander our attention away without careful consideration. Our minds are like a river taking the cognitively easiest path at all times. This easy path has been carved out by years of training on social media, stress and push on productivity that makes us feel like we need to always be multi-tasking, and by our own lack of awareness of the game we’re playing.

Some of the greatest minds of our time and billions of dollars backing some of most powerful technology the world has seen is all laser focus on you with the sole purpose of capturing your attention. You’re fighting a losing battle right out the gate.

Spending Wisely

The good news is that we are developing more and more ways of combating this direction and regaining our wealth of attention. A wise lottery winner will do things like invest in a diverse portfolio, keep a portion for savings, and give generously to friends and family.

The same is true for our attention. Mindfulness and quiet contemplation to face ourselves is investing in the quality of our time in the future. Giving time to family and friends instead of social media forms healthy relationships.

Use Tech for Good

You may be getting the idea that I’m anti-technology, let me assure you, I’m not. I’ve invested most of my life in technology and making the internet a better place. We have extremely powerful tools that can be used for good. Connecting to ourselves, family, and friends must be augmented with technology.

Find creative ways to avoid getting pulled into recommendation engines, ad tracking, etc. I use Brave browser and ad block extensions. I have several youtube accounts to gain control over my recommendations - one of which I’ve turned saving history off which essentially turns off recommendations. I’ve stopped using facebook all together and have designated times to check twitter, news, and email.

Like nutrition, take all things in moderation. Treat social media like a rich chocolate cake!