The attention economy

Becoming more mindful with digital, no internal dialogues, icebreakers, and adding temptations to build habits

Hi friend,

What is happening?

This past week has been another series of dystopian headlines. From the Coronavirus to Trump's impeachment, nothing seems to be going well. Fear, anxiety, anger, resentment are quelling around us as we navigate through this new decade.

Wars are happening all around the world as we speak, but many of us aren't aware of the battleground in our own homes - our digital screens.

The screens from our phones to TV have become hijacked by those willing to pay top-dollar to influence our thinking. Trump and Bloomberg paid an estimated $11M to run 60-second advertisements during the Superbowl this past weekend. With an election looming around the corner, not even a pandemic will unite politicians to work together.

But what does this mean for us?

  1. We have to be extremely vigilant with where we invest our time and energy, especially in our news. We need to stay informed from reputable sources, not social media.

  2. Be cautious of online conversations. Social media platforms have become innundated with bots and trolls that create discussions using fake profiles. (This had just happened with me on Reddit and Instagram, where I had ten different conversations with ten different profiles, and it ended up being a single person.)

    Disconnect from time to time, and engage more with authentic discussions with humans around us.

  3. Though we can't be in control of what others say, we are in full control of how we react. Let go of the need to respond and take away the power it seeks - attention.

    By being proactive with our consciousness, we can start to build a more mindful, digital space.

One month down, and onto the next.

I am hosting another session of my monthly gaysian monthly support group this Sunday, 2/9, in NYC. This session, we are talking about love and relationships. 


No Internal Dialogue

I had no idea that not everyone has an internal monologue. Before I do almost everything, I talk to myself. When I write, I verbalize what I think before it ends up on my computer. When I am in new social settings, I talk to myself as I prepare to speak with people I haven't met yet.

I did additional research and found some fascinating insight into how deaf people think and other ways that people perceive thought.

Newsletters and Icebreakers

One newsletter I subscribe and read regularly is Rob Walker's Art of Noticing. It's a mix of thoughtful recommendations and mindfulness practices.

Just recently, he published a google doc with all of his ice breaker questions from previous newsletters. If you run any group activity or want some interesting questions for your next gathering, you'll find this document very helpful.

Adding Temptations

From one of the episodes on creating habits with The Happiness Lab, we learn about creating new habits. The key is removing temptations (live next to the gym, lay your clothes out the night before )and tie temptations with the activity we want to accomplish (watching TV while running on the treadmill, listening to our favorite podcasts while doing laundry).

As always, thanks for reading!

P.S. If you enjoyed this, share or sign up here: mindfulmoments.substack.com

Anything else? You can always hit "reply" to email me directly. 💌

Have a beautiful day!

Metta (loving-kindness),
Steven

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