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BLOG ENTRY 6 piracy

April 11, 2012

The concept of attention in the world of media is usually captured by physical alerts to the world around us–whether it may be the loud volume at the cinemas or the personalised ringtone on our mobile phones of our favourite song. In today’s constant race to the best campaign or highest website hits, grabbing the attention of our audience is vital in order for the survival of the media industry. However, in saying that, it is slowly becoming a reality that although it is true that the media needs its audiences, its audiences need the media as well. More and more everyday, humans of all ages are attached to their own devices. If we were to imagine a world without television, radio, mobile phones, computers, iPads and video games, the entire population would enter a trance of absolute insanity.

The simplicity of nature and communion with other people without media interference has become a historical activity and is no longer enough to satisfy our shortening attention span. Humans have always had an attention span, however, in modern times where money and technology is everything, companies and devices are always fighting each other for the attention of the greater public. This heavily relates to the point made in the week six lecture about ‘attention and distraction’– when our minds are focused on one thing we become distracted from other channels that are simultaneously begging for our attention. I find that between this idea of attention and distraction, there is some sort of correlation with Sam Kinsley’s quote inTechnics of Attention,  where he states, “Attention, therefore, is ‘the process by which value is produced as insperable from the production of subjectivity – that is from the invention and diffusion of common desires, beliefs and affects’”. I found that invention and diffusion goes hand in hand with attention and distraction– as in it is the invention and diffusion of our attention that defines the ever changing diversions of our attentions.

Kinsley also mentions the concept of “Technicity” and describes it as “…the capacities of a body which are indivisible from technologies.”

He continues, “Accordingly, and following Steigler and Derrida, we can understand technology not as a ‘supplement’ to bodies (or to cultures for that matter)-for neither body or technology comes ‘first’-but as the tools and equipment that necessarily co-develop with human beings.” (Kinsley)

What I found particularly interesting in the readings is the article by Emily Yoffe, Seeking,  which suggests the reason for why humans find it so enticing to aimlessly surf the internet. Dopamine. She mentions the term “Crackberry” in reference to BlackBerrys and their addictiveness. It proves itself correct though considering that almost all celebrities are caught tweeting on their BlackBerrys non stop. What I thought when reading the article was that there is actually a chemical in our brains that actually makes us feel good when we are using technology. Even when we are exhausted after a day of work and our eyes are slowing shutting because they are so heavy, we are still forcing ourselves to play one more game of Temple Run on our IPhones or browse through Google without any real purpose. Finally, we now have an excuse for doing so and as personally stated by Yoffe, “Our internal sense of time is believed to be controlled by the dopamine system.”

What I found especially disturbing about the piece was not only the comparison between Lab Rats and Humans in Yoffe’s piece but also her statement, “Like the lab rats, we keep hitting “enter” to get our next fix.”

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