Attention Economy and Social Media

Attention is the most valuable resource that one can possess in a modern world.  Everybody is competing for it.

Someone who shouldn’t be getting a lot of your attention

Social Networks are like tiny slot machines which are placed in your pocket and every time you check them and see a notification you get a dopamine dosage. The more dopamine you get the more often you want to check your score. It’s not an accident. They are designed to be like that. If you don’t trust me, ask yourself how many times have you opened your favorite social network app just to quickly check something and then spend the next hour or two exercising your thumb?

  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks want you to check whether you have more notifications and spend another minute scrolling down your feed.
  • Youtube wants you to watch one more video, and spend 7 more minutes on their website. 
  • TV wants your attention so they can get better ratings.
  • Newspapers want their piece of the pie so they build an app for your phone so you can read them anywhere, anytime.

You think social media is free? They are not. They are selling your attention. 

They all want your attention for the very same reason – to show you one more add and earn more money by selling your attention to advertisers.

Should you quit social media?

I’ve quit social media on several occasions and it was such a relief. Ever since the first time I’ve quit, I have been coming back and quitting again. It felt like trying to quit smoking; whenever you come back you are heavily hooked in a matter of seconds. Right now I am in a huge dilemma whether  I should continue using my newly made accounts on Twitter and Instagram because they are taking too much of my precious time and I feel less able to concentrate after every usage. 

Unfortunately, I know that very efficient way to reach readers is to be present on various social media platforms and that’s the only thing that is stopping me from quitting.  But, I must say that I am not happy about being there.

I am not saying that you should entirely stop to use social media because there are people who can rationally use social media, instead of social media using them.

Therefore, if you are easily addicted to them like I am, I hope that you will get it under control and that you will drive the best from your social media usage. That’s what I’m trying to do now but, if during this week, I once again realize that social media is using me, I will quit it again because I think that time spent on social media is better used for writing or doing something meaningful. 

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