Our attention is a very precious limited resource. It can be used to learn new things or do important things, or, even, indulge in the luxurious hobby of thinking for ourselves! Yet this attention has been harvested by the world’s most impressive hacker: Mark Zuckerberg.
Forget how he programmed a computer to create a ubiquitous social media platform. That is besides the point.
With Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has brilliantly programmed humans!
With Facebook, he has co-opted a basic aspect of human life: friendship.
With Facebook he has changed the Internet from a place where you have to search for information about what you like, to a place where you give your attention to content that has been selected for you.
— CommitStrip (@CommitStrip) February 23, 2016
Indulge in the luxurious hobby of learning to think for yourself!
Miss Eva Vavoom
In the mobile age, we are realizing that this results in the loss of our free time as we consume distracting information that ranges from amusing to enraging. Similar newsfeed-based platforms such as Twitter or Pinterest are a kind of drug that also morphs our impression of time! Moreover, Facebook trending topics teach us that, overall, nothing very important or significant gets shared widely on Facebook. The simplest way to distinguish trifles from news is to ask yourself “Will this still matter in 24 hours?”.
But what if you decide to look away and do something important?
Everyday, millions of people do important things. Maybe you did something important today. You can be sure that all your important work will go unnoticed. We have to learn to dissociate the process of doing something important, with the hope that people will notice or even care. Because importance is not a finite pie. Everybody can do something important at the same time. What is finite is the pie of human attention. Whatever you do, it will probably never commend as much attention as the unimportant things that famous people are doing. And that is okay.