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Social Media & The Attention Economy

What is the “Attention Economy” you ask.  Great question… scary answer!

Some of the world’s most recognized technology brands, like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are in a race for our attention.  They no longer have a choice.  These “solutions” are backed by business models that rely on money from advertisers that, quite literally, pay for our attention.  And, since we only have so much time in a day to engage in social media, these tech titans must continually design and deploy increasingly addictive techniques to keep us “hooked” and glued to their app!

As adults, we must learn to treat this phenomenon as we would any addiction.  A little knowledge, recognition that the threat exists, reasonable goals, and “all things in moderation” and we will probably be OK.  But, what does the Attention Economy mean to our children?

Unfortunately, this problem is one that affects both adults and adolescents.  And, the younger (and less mature) among us have little chance of dealing with this problem on their own.  Social Media has conditioned a generation of children to view “Likes”, “Streaks”, and “Shares” as a measure of their self-worth.  This has been so successful that it is now commonly believed that children are less capable of forming real friendships (see TED Harvard Happiness Study), and engaging with those friends in healthy, face-to-face conversations and activities.

To be direct, the Attention Economy is negatively impacting the health of our children… both in the present and well into their futures.

What Can We Do?  Family is the Key!

First, we must all agree that we cannot count on the large technology companies to be part of the solution.

Second, we must all educate ourselves.  Groups like Center for Humane Technology, Siempo, and #UseTech4Good are great places to start.

Third, connect “digitally” with your children.  As counterproductive as this may sound, we have to be engaged with our children where the problem exists.  We recommend you start with FamPlan.

Fourth, go to extremes to create opportunities for Relationships & Experiences.

And finally, share everything you learn with your children.  They will benefit from your efforts more than you can imagine!

This is Part 1 of a 5 Part Series on Kids & Social Media

 

8 replies
  1. auerbach
    auerbach says:

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative
    and interesting, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about.

    I’m very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

    Reply
  2. Texas LLC
    Texas LLC says:

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am having troubles with
    your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anyone else having identical RSS problems?

    Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

    Reply
    • famplanwill
      famplanwill says:

      Hi John, Thanks for the positive feedback. I am not sure what’s happening with the RSS feed. I will look into it today.

      Reply

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