The Attention Economy
Apparently Herbert A. Simon is thought to be the first person to write about the attention economy, when in 1969 he wrote:
We live in a world where there is a wealth of information, which created a poverty of attention. Facebook, Google, CNN, Fox News, Instagram and others all compete for your attention (so they can sell it to others) and email, Netflix, and television can take up hours of your time. Add in time devoted to work demands, parenting, friendships, etc. and you might not have much time or energy left. Who has time to stay healthy?
Design vs. Default
The main point for today is that the world has changed, and is changing rapidly even now, and not all of these changes are good for your health. Activity is down, screen time is up, portion sizes are large, and added sugar is everywhere. Perhaps a prophetic view of the future comes from this scene from Pixar's movie Wall-E.
You have a choice to let these changes sweep you along with them, or you can be intentional about deciding how you want to live, and take steps to shape your life around your desired design. Of course you can't be in complete control all the time. But you can have influence. Let me give you 2 examples:
Are you going to design your life, or will you just accept the default?
Where do you focus your attention? Are you conscious of all the forces vying for your attention, and do you intentionally implement strategies to control where you attention goes? Could you pick one thing this week that you feel takes up too much of your attention and try a new strategy to reduce its influence on your life?
Me? I'm not checking email at bedtime.
Dr. Topher Fox
*No phone in the bedroom unless I'm on call, no email alerts or badges on phone, generally phone put away by 8 pm, awareness to pause when I pick up phone at night to ask, "'What are you doing? " and put it back down if email is the temptation.
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