The sense of losing focus and attention when engaged in digital activities, is a common complaint. Generally the explanation provided is that the overabundance of information is stretching human limited attantional capacities. In this webinar we will discuss attention from a more social perspective and argue that we have always lived in excessively stimulating environments but that we have constructed many social cues to help us guide our attention to what is considered significant.
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Classrooms, theaters, ranks, clothes all contribute to support the process of selecting what we should be attending to. In the digital world however information is still relatively unstructured and vague and it is difficult to recognize what is important. Moreover the "attention economy" is being built on environments capable of attracting attention. A growing number of successful internet businesses rely on the measurement and monetization o attention as a primary business model, and this is certainly not contributing to make users feel in control of their focus. In the Onlife Manifesto we are arguing for a "grey ecology" an ecology of the mind that recognises our unique attentional capacities.