In The Future, Our Attention Will Be Sold

An insightful and well-sourced look into the attention economy, and our rapidly dissipating ability to focus it. Cue the rise of ridiculous clickbait headlines, Candy Crush Saga, and all the rest. There are definitely physiological changes that eventuate, but technology moves so quickly there’s a dearth of substantive studies on the effects.

This is why today we are each bombarded with over 3,000 advertising messages per day. This is why these advertisements get zanier and more nonsensical — like the Geico gecko or the Old Spice guy — because the goal of advertisements is no longer information but simply attention.

This is why social media is plastered with ridiculous article headlines such as, “I Thought I Was Going To Die, But Then You’ll Never Believed How This Polar Bear Saved My Life,” and when you click it, it takes you to a series of stupid animated GIFs or a YouTube video that has nothing to do with polar bears but is instead slathered in advertisements.

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