The Poverty Of Attention.
Attention, in layman’s terms — is about prioritising significant facets to focus on that really matters to us & ignore the rest. It’s an mental-model we’ve developed for ourselves over the years for efficient brain-activity. But, over the past few years, are we being psychologically re-engineered into this becoming an mental disorder by itself? The answer is unfortunately yes. I’ll share a few examples.
You’re scrolling instagram. You find a post on your feed. You read the highlighted part of the “hook”. If it isn’t interesting enough you scroll past. If it is something interesting, you start reading it, but when it comes too long you just save it for later, to never revisit or scroll past the most in a summarized manner. You’ve been repeating this for the past few months, maybe even years.
Now, you find it extremely difficult to read even an paragraph completely without losing temper. You’re always in a rush to do literally everything. You’re reading faster to get a point to finish it as soon as possible & head-over to the next one, repeating the same process of frustration. You don’t have patience for anything, you’re expecting instantaneous results since you’ve been psychologically manipulated by these social platforms.
Your attention span has been massacred so much that you have lost the ability to enjoy the moment of anything. You’re always in a rush to do everything & attain the results immediately. Probably you’re wondering how I’m able to explain this in such a depth? Because, I was a dark victim. I suffered from all of these very harshly until I abandoned using social media actively. It was sucking the peace out of my life.
Social media is a great tool to learn about every nook & corner of the world, connect with people & stay in the sync. At the same time, the addictive mechanism they use to keep the user stay within their platform’s ecosystem for monetization is extremely harmful to the human brain. They’re completely reshaping an entire generation of individuals into instant gratification monkeys.
Also, the major question that arises. Is there even a need to stay so much connected to the external world & it’s noises that we lose hindsight with our internal peace? Is there a reason to stay so much in the loop, multiple times on a everyday basis? Absolutely not.
Over-information & unregulated consumption puts so much effort in the brain to prioritise & delegate even more, draining mental energy which could’ve been used productively for something else. Even today, I’m occasionally suffering the fluctuation of attention even having side-lined social media months ago. The side effects still loops in until I get an proper offline life to replace screens. I still sometimes find myself reading too quickly, skimming with frustration, writing without patience, unable to sit with my own voices.
It was very intense to get out of the loop of social media, because there’s an internal trigger hook that’s always pulling us back in. The first & foremost thing I did was to unfollow everyone I knew & everything I was addicted to followed by removing the mobile apps & increasing the friction to use it. So, I did not completely abandon it, rather replaced my hooks. So, now whenever I’m back in the platform, since I don’t have my hooks, I lose interest in it over time reaching up-to a point where I don’t give a shit about it. This is a slow-process, but definitely worth it.
People with an active offline life maybe be able to distance themselves from this toxic loop, given that they have alternate sources to direct attention. Since, they’re able to balance both ends, they’ll have an equally cherishing experience. But, for the ones whom this is the only peep-hole to the outside world, social media is an road to misery. I still remember, how much bad it made me feel every single time I used to use the platform — until I reached a point asking myself “Why do I even give a shit about it so much if it makes me feel so bad?”
I still find it hard to enjoy certain moments to the fullest because of the attention-driven engineering social media has enforced upon me. I’m recovering by staying away as much as possible. All I’ll say is this, please regulate your social media usage. Balance it with more offline life. It is slowly massacring us, one day at a time — all for profits for some capitalistic privileged assholes.
Once & Last.