Spend Your Attention However You Want

A decade or more ago I read an article asserting that the future of the internet was the attention economy. It asserted that various sites on the internet would vie for your attention, not only with their advertising but also with their content. In fact, one of the measures of attention was how long you continued to browse around a given web site or interact with a feature of a web site like a game for example.

Well, it seems the prediction has panned out with a vengeance. To the extent that many people can’t stand to be separated from their smart phone for any time at all. Critics talk about all the time that is wasted by people playing games or looking at Facebook feeds or Twitter feeds.

And then today it hit me. It’s only a waste of time if that’s not what you intended to do with your time. I know. We’ve all had that experience of sitting down to play a game for a few minutes and looking up only to find that it’s well past midnight and we are still playing the stupid thing. But for the most part, when I play a game, I mean to be playing it. I choose to play it. To me, it is not a waste of time.

We really need to rethink our economy. With the steady onslaught of automation and autonomous robots we are going to have more time on our hands. We need to figure out how to spend it. If we find a game that we want to spend some time playing I think that’s a good thing.

We need to learn to loosen up our Puritan work ethic a little and learn how to take August off like the French. We need to work less and enjoy life more. I seriously doubt that is going to happen anytime soon but I think we would get about the same amount of work done and enjoy our lives a lot more if we did. When was the last time you found a shady place next to running water and read a book for a couple of hours? It would do you a world of good.

I’ve been trying an experiment where I go somewhere different for lunch every day of the week and write for forty minutes. I’ve discovered that where you write has a definite effect on what you write, usually in a beneficial way. Remember what Ram Das said, “Be Here Now!”

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.