You can’t pay attention and it’s not your fault — according to new book

While millions of Americans may be finding it harder and harder to focus on our daily tasks, a new book reassures us that we aren’t totally in control anyways.

We live in a world with more artificial distractions than ever before. Author Johann Hari says our focus is being hijacked by social media companies and because of that, doing things that demand our long-term attention is becoming increasingly difficult.

Corporations, often the ones we love, are incentivized by our clicks.  And that’s how they make money — manipulating us to scroll, keeping our eyes on their product.

“We don’t want to get rid of social media any more than we wanted to get rid of gasoline or paint. We do want to get rid of the specific components in social media that are designed to harm our attention,” — Johann Hari, author of “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention — and How to Think More Deeply Again.”


Listen: How to reform social media companies to prevent them from stealing our attention.

 


Guest

Johann Hari is the author of “Stolen Focus: Why you can’t pay attention, and how to think more deeply again.” He says the business model of social media is explicitly designed to steal our attention and, while we don’t need to ban social media, Hari says we do need to reform it.

“We don’t want to get rid of social media,” says Hari, “any more than we wanted to get rid of gasoline or paint. We do want to get rid of the specific components in social media that are designed to harm our attention.”

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Author

  • Sam Corey

    Sam Corey is a producer for Detroit Today on 101.9 WDET, which includes finding and preparing interesting stories for radio. He enjoys salsa dancing — and actual salsa.