“So far, our debate about distraction has hinged on the assumption that the feelings of anxiety and personal insecurity that we experience when interacting with social media are the natural price we pay for living in what some technology pundits call “the attention economy.” But what if this economy is not as autonomous and self-regulating as we are lead to believe? Twitter, for instance, nudges us to check how many people have interacted with our tweets. That nagging temptation to trace the destiny of our every tweet, in perpetuity and with the most comprehensive analytics, is anything but self-evident. The business agenda is obvious: The more data we can surrender—by endlessly clicking around—the more appealing Twitter looks to advertisers. But what is in Twitter’s business interest is not necessarily in our communicative interest. We must subject social media to the kind of scrutiny that has been applied to the design of gambling machines in Las Vegas casinos.” EVGENY MOROZOV
He goes on to say: “Why we disconnect matters: We can continue in today’s mode of treating disconnection as a way to recharge and regain productivity, or we can view it as a way to sabotage the addiction tactics of the acceleration-distraction complex that is Silicon Valley.”
Today you can just do a close read of the paragraphs above and critically reflect on the idea of disconnection as protest or a personal tool to increase productivity. Where do you stand? If you want a deep dive the article ‘The mindfulness racket’ is well worth your close attention to help question some givens of our attention economy.