Instinctively as social creatures; the need, or rather the desire for attention. Whether it be insignificant or significant, its always present. Being granted attention seems to send our dopamine hormone levels on a frenzy. It becomes addictive, on par with drugs and alcohol.
Moreover, the fact that “attention” can now be monetized in the age we live in. Has made it all the more desirable. The pioneers of monetized attention (if by chance you didn’t know already) is undoubtedly social media. You have probably seen or have even uttered the words yourself: “How is this app free” or “How is this app still free“
Well to put it simply, users of social media, you and I, aren’t the target audience. We are the product, our attention is constantly up for sale to the highest bidder. Keeping the app free guarantees a large amounts of users. The more attention there is to sell to businesses and conglomerates, the better.
Being over-stimulated for at least 16 hours a day, every day has conditioned us to seek out things to distract us or hold our attention, or “kill time”. It has also resulted in what some refer to as “clout chasing”. Being in a constant need of attention will lead to a lapse of judgment, reasoning and more often than not… decorum.
I’m definitely not an anomaly in this subject, I have also fallen victim to the allure and brief gratification that attention brings. With constant chasing of attention, logical thoughts are thrown out the window. This leads to situations such as pouring milk over yourself via Instagram live.
As a creative, this is detrimental. You stop thinking for yourself and are swayed easily by the thoughts/opinions of others. This inadvertently leads to a drop in the quality of your output, because your focus isn’t where it is supposed to be, which is your craft.
It is for this reason that I stopped sharing my posts on social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook). Because it subconsciously made me want to only create content that would catch as much attention as possible. I found myself looking for trending topics on social media to talk about, as opposed to the things I wanted to talk about. I was prepared to write about things I didn’t really have an interest in, all in the name of attention.
Albeit, “jumping on the wave” and talking about what is trending is not a bad idea. Constantly wanting to do it though is a different story. It eats away at your creativity and originality, I mean look at Daily Mail and The Sun.
And unsurprisingly, ever since I stopped sharing my posts via social media, (also stopped worrying about how much likes/retweets I get) a weight has been lifted. I no longer feel pressured to create something solely to catch the attention of my peers. I’m able to write freely, without hesitation or restraint.
The song for today is: Martinsfeelz – Secure The Bag ft. Falz