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Culture Social Media Tech

Disattention is the new attention

A gif of a mask around a woman Silhouette with white eyes

There’s no cap on freedom of speech, nor is there one on attention. The latter, unfettered, encumbers our thinking with the juiciest of distractions.

Facts no longer keep attention. It’s all about the design, bluster, the infomercial, and the story. Distortion runs rampant because in the age of social media tribes bias controls the narrative. The downsizing from mass to niches means our grip on the world is more illusory than ever.

What information consumes is rather obvious. It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.

Herbert Simon

Hiding behind our screens of self-promotion does nothing to generate change. A digital identity is full of artifice and spin.

The key to unlocking the facade is to see through its pixel-less value. Avatars are mere masks. The real world still needs impactful design, a far stretch from craving the irreality of a facelift.

gif by @elinanikkinen


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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of four books.

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