From the Archive: Screen Time, Azerbaijan

Television playing in a house, Xinaliq, Azerbaijan. © www.thomaspickard.com

Television playing in a house, Xinaliq, Azerbaijan. © www.thomaspickard.com

I hate television.

I hate it even more, when you are in someone’s house and the television is on in the background and no one is actually watching or listening to it. It is simply background noise, competing for your attention.

I recently read Tim Wu’s book, The Attention Merchants. The premise of Wu’s book is that we have finite attention and advertisers over the last 100 years have continually evolved new ways and new mediums, to capture or harvest our attention and then sell that attention to advertisers.

If this sounds like a dystopian nightmare to you, then you are right. It is.

To read Wu’s book, is to educate yourself about the ways in which our attention is being harvested and sold, but more importantly, about what you can do to stop this from happening (hint: nothing is ‘free’ on the Internet and that includes your social media sites like Facebook and Snap Chat).

Watch a brief synopsis of Tim Wu’s book.

Read a NYT Review of The Attention Merchants

And if you are after a copy - no affiliate links here my friend - do what I did, pick up a copy from your local library.