Three Signs Your Attention Just Got Hacked

As technology becomes better at distracting us, being more conscious of how we use our attention is essential. Here's how you can regain focus and control.

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Have you noticed? There is a war being waged for your attention. In the so-called “Attention Economy” your attention is now someone else’s precious (and monetizable) commodity. The more you scroll, click and “like” information, the more your data can be packaged and sold. Because you only have so much attention to give, systems have evolved to capture and keep your attention as long as possible. Another word for this is “seduction.” The best seductions are those that you don’t notice are happening, or that even make it appear as if you are willingly choosing to do something.

Why should you care? It is hard to understate the role attention plays in your life. What you attend to is what your life becomes. Spend time giving attention to baseball statistics, and that becomes part of your life.  Focus on the healthy development of children, and that becomes part of your life. The choices you make about how—and what—you invest attention in form your life’s structure and content.

As demands for our attention become ever more seductive, it has become essential to be more conscious of how you’re