Addiction by design: How technology keeps us hooked

In 2011, I quit Facebook. In 2013, I quit Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat. In 2017, I quite Twitter, quitting social media all-together for three years. In between, I studied closely the psychological implications of the digital world on our lives and well-being. One of the most important lessons I learned was that technology isn’t neutral.

Continue reading “Addiction by design: How technology keeps us hooked”

Attention merchants: Harvesters of human attention

A while back, I wrote a very lengthy and super detailed article on the attention economy: how and why big data is hijacking your mind. Honestly? Even I don’t read super long articles on the web anymore. I don’t have the attention span for it (Oops…)

So, in all fairness, I’ve decided to repost the article in four parts. This is part two, and highly edited.

Please see the original article for references.

Without further ado…


A quick Google search defines attention as:

  1. notice taken of someone or something; the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important.
  2. the action of dealing with or taking special care of someone or something.

Attention is a very valuable asset. It is what allows us to be aware of our surroundings, our safety, and our well-being. Our attention helps us focus, concentrate, learn, grow, connect with one another amongst other important functions.

We are where our attention is.
Continue reading “Attention merchants: Harvesters of human attention”

A short introduction to the attention economy

A while back, I wrote a very lengthy and super detailed article on the attention economy: how and why big data is hijacking your mind.

Honestly?

Even I don’t read super long articles on the web anymore. I don’t have the attention span for it (Oops…).

So, in all fairness, I’ve decided to repost the article in four parts, with minor edits for ease of readability.

Please see the original article for references.

Without further ado…


Back in 1997, Michael H. Goldhaber pened in Wired magazine, “the currency of the New Economy won’t be money, but attention – A radical theory of value.”

The article was titled Attention Shoppers!

Continue reading “A short introduction to the attention economy”

Taking a digital break

What better time than the end of the year, and 2020 at that, to take a much need digital break from the online world?

It all started with a conversation.

Last Thursday, Mine from @unapologetically.mine and I got on Instagram Live to chat about protecting our inner peace while using social media and being online in general. Our conversation inspired me to take a digital break.

Like, from Instagram.

Continue reading “Taking a digital break”

Stay informed, avoid media hysteria

What’s hoarding toilet papers got to do a fatal flu virus outbreak? Good ol’ media.

Imagine this.

The year is 2020.

A flu virus, the deadliest in history, by the name of COVID-19 has infected and wiped out 99.9 percent of the world’s population.

At the same time, the aliens have decided to pay our planet a visit.

At arrival, they find the streets strangely quiet— shops, restaurants, cafes, stores all are shut down. The houses are empty. As the aliens make their way from one house to the next, they discover piles of items labeled toilet paper.

They are puzzled.

They figure Google would have an answer and search online for the definition of ‘toilet paper’— “paper in sheets or on a roll for wiping oneself clean after urination or defecation.”

The aliens are puzzled once again.

Continue reading “Stay informed, avoid media hysteria”

Extreme world views often only exist online, and what to *actually* think of Donald Trump

Do you ever read, watch, or see something extremely outrages online, be it a Facebook post, a YouTube video, or a comment on a blog article, and feel greatly irritated and annoyed?

There have been many times where I have come across such content online that elicit strong negative emotions in me, where I’ve felt personally attacked and insulted.

After some internal debate and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that extreme opinions are often over-exaggerated, logically flawed and inconsistent, and only exist because of the safety and anonymity online platforms provided. 

I have decided they aren’t worth my attention, nor a prolonged reaction out of me.

Experience has shown me that extreme world views often are the loudest online.
Continue reading “Extreme world views often only exist online, and what to *actually* think of Donald Trump”

The attention economy: How and why big data is hijacking our mind

In 1997, Michael H. Goldhaber penned in Wired magazine, “the currency of the New Economy won’t be money, but attention – A radical theory of value[1].

The article was titled Attention Shoppers!

Almost exactly a decade after Goldhaber’s “radical theory” on the attention economy, the first iPhone would enter the market, giving tech companies unprecedented access to human psychology and radically transforming the fabrics of society as we know it.

Another decade after the first iPhone made its way into the pockets of eager consumers, Tristan Harris, a former Google product developer and the the co‑founder of Centre for Humane Technology, called the iPhone “a slot machine in my pocket.”

Continue reading “The attention economy: How and why big data is hijacking our mind”