Finding An Antidote To The Attention Economy with Jenny Odell

 More and more of us spend enormous spans of our time captured, optimized, or appropriated as a financial resource by the technologies we use daily. We are caught in a dynamic where our value is determined by our productivity. In her book, Jenny Odell points out, “The convenience of limitless connectivity has neatly paved over the nuances of in-person conversation, cutting away so much information and context in the process. In an endless cycle where communication is stunted and time is money, there are a few moments to step away and fewer ways to find each other.” This deep dialogue explores the increasingly materialistic and pragmatic orientation of our age and how to reroute and deepen our attention and explore what is hijacking the ageless need for community, solitude, and conviviality. She also describes the attention economy, how it is co-opting our lives and how we can reclaim our lives from its pervasive and seductive sway. She says, “I realized that what I’m actually trying to escape is not politics, not other people, and it’s not like being in the world. What I’m trying to escape is the attention economy. I’m trying to escape this very specific cycle in which I am faced with a bunch of information that produces anxiety. That then drives me back to social media and the attention economy . . . I’m just a waterwheel for this and everyone is a waterwheel for this industry . . .It’s not necessarily an issue of disengaging all together, it’s disengaging from that and actually, ironically, engaging more with people around me, organizations around me, and things that that exist outside the attention economy.”

Program 3689 Description

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