The Great Bazaar of the Attention Economy

You are in a bazaar somewhere in Asia. The beggars and peddlers notice that you’re not from here, so you must have money. Scrambling, urchins, and merchants vie for your attention. Miss! Miss! Over here! Very good price. You are pushed into bottles of incense, fake designer clothes, and dubious local spices. Although annoyed, you are not uninterested. You had taken to the streets on your own volition. You may have been en route somewhere, but stumbling upon cobblestones and canvas tents isn’t necessarily an inconvenient hindrance. A tent’s draping rents and a thick lone puff of smoke swirls past…


Shirley’s Daily Entries

Day 1

The SIM card we received with the phone we got did not work so I had to go to an AT&T store in the morning today. Since I didn’t get the phone set up until later this morning, I did not officially start the challenge until 12PM. I had about an hour to let people know my temporary number for the next week. This wasn’t that hard though since I decided it was only necessary for me to tell a few people about this change. Everyone else who randomly decides to reach out to me in the next seven days…


What does it mean to be connected? Does it describe the complex wiring of our nervous system? Is it a show of full signal bars on your device? Or is it an obligation?

After completing my “dumb phone” challenge, I will opt for the third option. It has been 57 minutes since I’ve reactivated my phone and I’ve picked at my nails and bitten at my lip in response to the incessant pings of in-phone ACTION NEEDED notifications and its ilk. …


Smart Phones Save Time

Everyone knows that smartphones are time-savers, but before this challenge, I didn’t realize just how much time I was saving. I didn’t realize how easyI had it just a week ago. Quarter-hours are saved by having a smartphone do the mundane, yet necessary tasks we face on a daily basis. A quick tap here and there, then boom. Payment made. Here, my phone-reliance revealed itself not in a grandiose fashion, but in the seconds and minutes lost to inconvenience. On my phone, I use facial recognition to login in lieu of manually entering login credentials. It makes life so simple…


During the winter, it’s totally understandable if you would prefer to stay in and binge on your latest Netflix obsession. It’s cold, it’s completely dark out by 6:00PM, and donning five layers of clothes isn’t worth the effort. But it’s summertime! We all should be taking full advantage of the longer days and the accompanying sunny warmth.

Don’t coop yourself up at home spending hours watching TV; get outside and soak up some Vitamin D. Don’t text friends to only talk about plans; make the plans happen. …


We keep our friends close, but our phones closer. 71% of American adults sleep with or next to their smartphones at night. We are constantly “on.” Constantly connected. It sometimes feels as though we are requiredto be reachable. 45% of teens reported that they are almost constantly online and 62% of millennials spend six or more hours on a smartphone per day. Even though smartphones did not become the norm until about 2012(when smartphone sales exceeded “dumb phone” sales in the U.S.), they have impacted our lives in a big way. Less than a decade later, we are now living…


The game

Place all phones in a pile at the center of the dinner table. Set all phones to ring. The first one to receive a phone call loses. Typically, the loser has to pay the bill.

I played a variation of this with my family on Sunday. We kept up with tradition by piling our phones in the center of the table, equidistant from the five of us — i.e. within arm’s reach. That being said, we did tweak the rules a bit. The first one to touch the pile would lose. Our phones were in full-view allowing their full range…


The Challenge

Spend thirty minutes before bed engaged with a book, instead of mindlessly scrolling through ‘content.’ Content, as I like to call it, is just empty media. I can’t even categorize it as Instagram posts, because I often move from an Instagram page, to reading captions, to the person’s blog. To me it’s empty as oftentimes I’m not even paying attention or absorbing any information at all. Immersing myself in this flow of content is just a way to disengage and fill my mind with meaningless information to block out any external stressors.

My mother scolds me for spending too much…


Nina Hersher has her Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis with a specialized degree in Digital Culture and Program Development. Hersher views digital wellness as the intersection of technology and mental health amid beliefs that in this fledgling field, there is a collective, ethical responsibility to research it. She now runs Nourishing Habits™ LLC, and coaches on best practices in digital productivity and well-being for balanced living.

We recently got a chance to chat with her about why she founded Nourishing Habits, her work in the digital wellness space, and how she nurtures her own digital…


Nothing kills a romantic night faster than your significant other constantly checking his or her phone. The typical American checks his or her smartphone once every six-and-a-half minutes, or roughly 150 times each day. Being this attached to your phone seems to sabotage your attachment with your loved ones. Recent research has dug into technology ’s detrimental effects.

Phubbing

Duke University Professors James A. Roberts and Meredith Davis conducted a study in 2016 that explored just how detrimental smartphones can be to relationships. They focused on a phenomenon they called “phubbing,” a fusion of ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing’ that accounts for how…

Delfina Forstmann

Delfina joined BOLDFISH in November ’18. Prior to that she was a writer at a renowned travel blog. Delfina writes to gives her generation a new take on tech.

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