How I Got My Attention Back

Technology is commanding our attention in infinite, insurmountable loops. A country trip off-grid helped me escape.
As the feelings of that day — of that eight-hour train ride past an America that suddenly felt very foreign — spread into the next and the next, I tried to think back to when my attention was something I could manipulate confidently.
Regardless, down in Virginia, on a repurposed plantation: I want my attention back.
The attention economy, which showers profits on companies that seize our focus, has kicked off what Harris calls a “Race to the bottom of the brain stem.” “You could say that it’s my responsibility” to exert self-control when it comes to digital usage, he explains, “But that’s not acknowledging that there’s a thousand people on the other side of the screen whose job is to break down whatever responsibility I can maintain.” In short, we’ve lost control of our relationship with technology because technology has become better at controlling us.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum of leveraging the network for social good, having control over your attention can only make your efforts stronger.
To feel once again what it was like to have an attention without fighting for it each minute.
Disconnection helped me remember what the mind felt like before I had lost my attention.
I wanted my attention back, and I’ve got it for now.

Source: How I Got My Attention Back


Originally published at Cogly.