"The Attention Economy"

By Paul Bauer

Have you ever gone looking for something on the Internet and found yourself a half an hour later in a completely unrelated place wondering how did you get there?

It’s no accident. With the amount of distractions in the online world, it's a wonder that we can even stay focused on what we need to do at all.

And that’s the real issue going on in today’s “attention economy".

Companies like Facebook, Google (and companies you’ve never even heard) of are tracking us and manipulating our every day opinions and behaviors - without our even knowing it.

If you watched my video on The Paradigm Shift, I discussed this issue in some detail. The fact is, there are more “mind viruses“ now than ever. In other words, stories, images, videos and other distractions that “steal“ our awareness on a daily basis.

So, the question isn’t do these mind viruses exist, the real question is what do we do about them? (and how do we prevent them from eroding our own awareness?)

Here’s a snippet of how corporate America sees our “attention“ as a commodity.

“At Netflix, we are competing for our customers time, so our competitors include Snapchat, YouTube, sleep etc.“
– Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO

So in Netflix’s CEO'S own words, our sacred place known as "sleep" has become a commodity for companies to compete (and even diminish)?

That’s one of the many places where they cross the line.

That’s just one company, imagine the other dozens of companies (and organizations) that seek to sway your thoughts, behaviors and opinions in their own interest (not yours). (Remember Cambridge Analytica?)

I really saw how huge this issue was when I read a book called “Stand Out of Our Light“ by James Williams. It’s an incredible look at what he calls the "Attention Economy" and how our thoughts and behaviors are being affected every day by a very small group of companies (and organizations).

Here’s a quick video by the author of the book that I think you’ll find quite interesting.

So, if you saw the video, you realize just how important issue this is in our personal and professional lives. It affects literally every person who owns a smart phone, computer, TV or other technology devices.

This is where it gets very concerning… 

In his research, James Williams uncovered the starting realization that:

“Less than 12 people control the attention of over 2 billion people“

This issue of our attention (and how it can be hijacked) is one of the most important moral and ethical issues of our age. The question isn’t whether mind viruses exist, the real question is what we’re going to do about the ones that unconsciously control our mind and our behavior.

So What Can We Do To Change  This Problem?

The First Step Is to Become Aware.
Once you're aware of something,  you are present and in touch. Even if it’s something that stresses you, once you become aware of the stress, it begins to slowly dissolve.

Awareness is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel,  or to be cognizant of events. More broadly, it is the state of  being conscious of something."  - Wikipedia

The Second Step Is Getting in Touch with your Heart and Your Body
In today’s fast-paced world, were forced to think too much and have lost touch with our bodies and how we feel. The lights on our "stress dashboard" Light up more frequently then we can sometimes handle.  

Whenever you feel stressed, it’s your body’s messaging system telling you to step back, breathe and let go.  The more we try to "fix" things, the worse they can get. even though it’s difficult to let go, it’s often the best thing to do for our mental, emotional and even physical health.

The Third Step Is Making a Choice
Once you’re aware of how you feel, you can begin to see more clearly, the next step is making a conscious choice what you truly want in the direction you want to go in.

When your choices are consciously made, you feel empowered and you know that you are the driver of your destiny. By staying attached to our old habits and patterns, we play “victim“ to those old beliefs that no longer serve us. But by making new *conscious* choices, we chart a new inspired course - One that has passion, meaning and purpose in our lives.

Your Own Personal "Inflection Point".
These three simple steps, becoming aware, getting in touch and making a new choice are the beginnings of your own personal "inflection point".  In other words you see the "fork in the road" and you choose a path that may seem uncertain but brings you far more fulfillment than the old ways.

May you embrace that new choice in your heart my friend...



P.S. for more on how to clear mind viruses, click here

Your opinion
On a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being the highest) how aware are you when a "mind virus" hits you AND how do you detect them?