Attention Economy


This week was all about the ‘attention economy’. It has ‘become the most valuable currency in the media world’ –Fortune. Which really links in with the concept of media, audience and place. How do we consume media and from what outlets? One topic that stemmed from this was the idea of multi-screening and multi-tasking and how that effects our productivity. As our society continues to develop into a fast paced and technology reliant society it only makes sense that we utilise this to be the best we can be. But what if it is actually a deterrent of productivity? What if it is an illusion that we are getting so much done but in reality not getting much done at all. Using an example, in the lecture I found it so interesting to observe the whole lecture hall. That day I decided to write in my notebook. One thing I noticed was that as someone in the clip was talking about multi-screening and all things related, I saw so many screens up. There was FaceBook, Emails, some other random sites even online shopping and I saw a lot of typing. I found this so interesting as that was exactly what the lady was talking about in the clip. Why do we do that? When we are in a lecture, why is our time somewhere else? Also wouldn’t that just mean that people would have to take more time to look back on the slides or watch the lecture back. There’s that illusion that you understand so much around you when often you miss things because you are not fully aware.

124a2761289110f4f9a12a6469b2cfa9(Photo- Pinterest, ‘multi-screening’)

I did a mini social experiment on myself. I personally can’t multi-task very well. I like to put my phone away, and I cannot study with music I feel my brain is in two places at once, but it is addictive to have so much going on at once. Getting a notification and checking it immediately incase you miss something, or to distract your own self in whatever you are currently doing that you don’t want to. But that only means having to switch your whole brain from one thing to another and over time your brain can’t keep up even though it has convinced itself it has.

I left my phone for a period of time. I can’t remember exactly, I think it was a couple of hours.


I got a few text messages, a couple of Snapchats and 11 Facebook notifications. It kind of goes to show that we are always distracted. Every app and media device is wanting our attention and that is how the ‘media economy’ works. That is how they base success. Rather it being supply-based, it is demand based. And the demand is shown through attention.

Resources from the Week 8 lecture and materials on Moodle as well as:


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