Attention, perhaps the greatest gift one can give to others. The purity of attention lies in the quality of response. When you respond to someone or something, you are just expressing your emotions. For instance, there’s nothing quite like you are reading and giving this blog a certain amount of attention. It’s a powerful feeling, to get attention. But how it really feels like to get attention? You may have been lucky in your life to get more attention than others. And if you did, then it’s so amazing, because like it’s been said, ‘It’s a powerful feeling.’
But there’s another powerful feeling that people have been lucky to experience a lot. And it’s quite funny, it’s just a wonderful feeling because it doesn’t come from getting attention. It comes from paying attention. People with great focus and discipline often narrow their attention while working. And everything in the world, anything that might be bothering them or might grab their attention, it all goes away. The feeling of getting dissolved that is what they love. That’s to them is ‘creativity.’ And that’s the biggest reason they are so grateful to their profession.
Attention Seeking Behavior hunts teens
Adolescents craving adrenaline all the time are the easy targets ‘attention’ is always looking for. Teens often hurl themselves into the sea of attention and the latter struggle to breathe in the social chaos (wave). These two powerful feelings; getting attention and paying attention, of course, in the last decade because of technology became more fashionable. Technology has allowed more and more teenagers to have this powerful feeling of getting attention for any kind of creative expression. It could be writing or clothing or photography, traveling – everything. The channels of distribution have been democratized, and that’s the good thing.
But there’s an unintended consequence for anybody with an urge to be creative, especially youngsters online. It’s like they’re immune to this. Their creativity seems to become more and more of a means to an end – and that end is to get attention. The more they go after that powerful feeling of paying attention, the happier they are. But the more they go after that powerful feeling of getting attention, the unhappier they are. Extra attention is the one thing teenagers often seek intentionally whenever, wherever possible. Most of them prefer bragging about their achievements, which sometimes go too far. And their other friends start making fun of them that remains for long in the memory.
Attention matters, whether it’s about your neighbour or Instagram
And then the inception of social media occurred. Initially, most adults hooked on it, just like everybody else. At first people instead of thinking of using social media platforms as tools to reach millions, most adults fall for using those to get attention, which is complete hypocrisy. Teens try their ways to get attention through brilliant posts but in no time at all, it starts having an impact on their creative process. They try not to let it. They would be visiting an exhibition, and instead of thinking, “What they can learn from there?” they’re like, “What will they get unique from there to make a great selfie?”
It’s obvious that technology is not the enemy of creativity; rather it’s just a tool. It has the potential to connect people sitting thousands of miles away from each other in just no time, which were just unimaginable decades ago. So, it’s not about that social media or smartphones or any technology is problematic in or of itself. However, if the argument discusses the perils of creativity becoming a means to get attention, then the gravity of the debate will pull down the attention-driven business model of today’s big social media companies, right? This might be quite a familiar topic to ignite the debate, but it’s a relevant question here: How does the social media platform like, for example, Instagram, make money? It’s obviously not selling a photo-sharing service – that’s for free! So what is it selling?
It’s selling your attention. It’s selling your attention to advertisers. When you post on Instagram, you get a certain amount of attention based on the strength of your followers. The more attention you’re able to get, the more attention Instagram is able to sell. So it’s in Instagram’s interest for you to get as much attention as possible. Slow but effectively, Instagram trains you to want attention, to get followers. First for 1,000 followers then to crave for 10,000, and the number goes to seek-feel amazing. And at last, to feel stressed when you’re not getting enough of it, and that’s the powerful feeling of getting attention.
Related:- 10 Alternatives To Boost Your Creativity
The creative flow; the solution to feeling real powerful
If your creativity is moved away by a desire to get attention, you’re never going to be creatively fulfilled. Every work, every job demands the adrenaline release, which gives the feeling of happiness. And this only comes when you’re satisfied with your deeds. Psychologists and neuroscientists- they studied a phenomenon they call flow. This flow happens in the human brain when you pay attention to just one thing, like something creative that overcomes every distraction.
Psychologists say the more you pay attention, the happier you’ll be. It’s very true, very practical. Now it’s not always easy, it’s hard. To really pay attention to anything takes practice, everybody does it their own way. But there’s also one thing that you can try focus and pay attention to; try not to see other creative people as your competitors. Try to find collaborators. Like, suppose you’re good at painting or drawing. If you start seeing the other painters as your competitors, and you’re like, “God, they’re going to get more attention than I am… people are going to praise their work not mine” – you will lose your focus.
And you’re probably going to deform your painting.
See them as collaborators, and then it becomes almost easy to focus, only because you’re now paying attention to them. And you don’t have to think about what you’re doing – you just react to what they’re doing, they react to what you’re doing, and all can kind of keep each other in it together. You can be collaborative in whatever kind of creative situation. It could be professional, could be just for fun. You could collaborate with people even you’re not in the same room. In fact, in many people’s experience, some of their favourite things they’ve never made, they’ve made with people that they never physically met. And by the way, this to most is the beauty of the internet.
If we could just stop craving attention, then the internet becomes a great place to find collaborators. Once you start collaborating with other people, whether they’re near, or online, wherever, that makes it so much easier for you to find that flow, because all are paying attention to just one thing that you’re making together.
Sometimes people totally get wrapped up in the addictive cycle of wanting to get attention. Even right now this blog honestly craves a little attention from you as readers. It’s been a huge opportunity to make you-readers really pay attention to something very important. So regardless of how much attention this blog gets, as a result, you folks make it worth reading. It’s grateful.
Now you can give your attention to someone else now.