It’s your attention.
Attention is a currency. We choose how to spend it, just like we spend our time, energy, and money. Unlike money, however, there’s no way to store attention for later use.
Generation Z has an attention span of about 8 seconds. That’s a few seconds shorter than the attention span of Millennials, which is about 12 seconds. This means that when it comes to marketing to Gen Z, every moment counts.
The studies show that the future of the economy, work, or health will be based on the time span of people's attention. The more engagement from the people the better results will be achieved. Isn't that how social media became such successful and addictive? ( The social dilemma documentary explains it very well)
Economic forces have recognized the value of this scarce resource and turned it into a commodity. Social media is in the attention-selling business. You hand your attention to them for free, and they sell your attention for a fee. If you pay attention to junk, your life becomes junk.
“A wealth of information,” as Herbert Simon says, “creates a poverty of attention.” If your attention is fragmented and impulsively pulled in a million different directions, you won’t be able to remember much. When you’re suffering from attention overload, your ability to process information and transfer it to long-term memory significantly decreases. “It’s as if our brain has become a full cup of water and anything more poured into it starts to spill out,” Tony Schwartz writes in the New York Times.
Like Michael Goldhaber told in an interview ( NYTimes )“When you have attention, you have power, and some people will try and succeed in getting huge amounts of attention, and they would not use it in equal or positive ways.”
You can’t make associations, connect dots, and form new insights.
You can’t think.
The remedy doesn’t require any drastic actions. You don’t need to give up your smartphone, go on a digital detox, or become a monk.
All it takes is more intention and less impulse.