The Attention Economy

We have an abundance of knowledge. Knowledge is easily accessible in today’s society from the internet to any smart technology. Knowledge is no longer a scarcity. (Manson, 2017)

With the internet and smart technology, there is now an abundance of content and information. The new scarcity in this age is Attention. There is an abundance of information and content that we are constantly exposed to. Every time we pick up our phones or open our laptops, there is always something new we will come across. We know we will come across something that will get our attention, fill our boredom and keep us entertained. This is the main goal of Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok’s, Netflix etc. They know we would get bored coming across the exact same stuff on our feeds and timelines everyday. In order to keep our attention, they monitor our online behaviours and what we interact with then set up an algorithm of content that is similar or they think we will like. And that is how you end up scrolling through Instagram and Tik Tok until 3am. The society we live in is an attention-based economy.  “In the attention economy, attention is not only a resource but a currency: users pay for a service with their attention.” (Kane,2019)

I was curious to see how much attention I was giving to my social media apps. Mainly Instagram because I know I’m on it quite a bit. Below is a screenshot of my screen time on Instagram.

Being that I’m always on Instagram, I wanted to know how well my Instagram explore page would cater and be similar to my main interest and the accounts I interacted with the most. It was pretty accurate with an abundance of images about Make-up, my favourite tv show, clothes and my love for the 90’s and early 2000’s.


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