Attention, my friend:
We know your time is valuable. In fact, your attention has a superpower. It has the strength to recognize that something outside of ourselves deserves a part of us. Even if only for a minute.
Then, we take the intricate machinery that is our mind and process the world around us through recipients of our choosing. We decrease others, while we turn up what appears to be more valuable. We “pay” with our attention. In return, the recipients entertain us, teach us, or if we’re lucky, move us.
But like all superpowers, our attention has its weaknesses. It does not have the bandwidth nor tenacity to grasp the torrent of information out there, made ever stronger by modern social media.
In search of our lost attention spans.
When we try to take in many things, the result is a broad but flat mode of attention that scatters our focus and prevents us from achieving any ideal immersion. Our shortened attention span has become a malady of modern society.
Despite being more connected than ever with and through technology, the self-frustration of not being able to focus and the drifting mind of not having a long-term direction to cultivate ourselves have plagued us all. Too much information around us dilutes our experiences, transforming our limited attention into a prized commodity.
Photo by Clayton Robbins
But our attention is not some prize to be collected and paraded. This is not the social media that was promised. The technology we created, and the networks we dearly contributed to, fire back at us.
Now, we realize that our attention and ability to focus are what holds value, not time itself.
“Never before have a handful of tech designers had such control over the way billions of us think, act, and live our lives.” — The Social Dilemma (2010)
We need to build a better Social.
In the past two decades, we witnessed the evolution of the static pages on Web 1.0 to the user-generated, interactive platforms of Web 2.0. We created social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, so that on the bright side, we’re able to get any information at any second, and discover great art, music, and people on the other side of the world.
See, technology is mutual, it is up to us how to use it. We need to change for the better: Media must be guided by tools that recognize us, align us, and help us focus with intent to assist us in achieving our own goals.
Now we see a promising light coming from Web 3.0. The underlying business model shift is the key that can potentially solve our dilemma. Without centralized harvesters squeezing the value we’ve created to pump their own pockets, we finally have a say in how things can be managed. In this space, the community is the owner, co-founder, and co-creator. And everyone can participate in the ecosystem as a stakeholder, and grow with the network — not be manipulated by it.
Let’s shape the Future of Social, together.
Information is all about relevance. Together, we can regain decision ad control over what is relevant to us.
We will no longer tolerate seeing everything and doing nothing. We will no longer be manipulated in our actions, perceptions, and values by corporate and political agendas and their black-box algorithms. Instead, we wish to take an intentional effort to do more difficult but right things, and contribute to a collective better future. A future where there is self-gratification, deep bonds, and nurtured, perpetuating culture.
Imagine a decentralized social network where we can do just that.
We will have control over the content we consume, because all content will be curated by trustworthy communities where we are part of the process. With intention, care, and social recognition, this network can become the beacon for our attention to regain its superpower.
We alone will have power over our own data, content, and value created. We will have deliberate choices of where to pay our attention. We will build this future together with people who dream the same dreams, empowered by our capacity to create meaningful change. In this place, we have a say.
But now comes the question: where do we start?
We are what we read. We are social.
Let’s go a few steps back, perhaps to when our younger minds were newly introduced to written knowledge. We poured over book after book, nearly devouring them with an insatiable curiosity. In return, they gave us our very identities, because we are what we read. Yet many of our older selves struggle to recreate that relationship with reading.
At t2 (time²), we are building a more transparent, decentralized, and collaborative social network starting with what we read. With the intent and control that our attention deserves, we can read what defines us, build our digital identity piece by piece, and somewhere along the way we can even find each other.
When our time encounters each other during our self-exploration, it is multiplied in itself, therefore, time². By aligning the intentions of our engagement, we power the network. Every individual will benefit from self-growth along with the network’s collective prosperity.
Reading is solitary, but it does not need to be lonely.
It’s time for a social revolution. Starting with these words.
- We believe in the superpower nested in our attention.
- We believe in the need to shape our minds with self-mastery.
- We believe in the value of time, inner peace, delayed gratification, and heart flow that empowers us as unique individuals.
- We believe in the promise of a social network that recognizes and rewards us for who we are.
- We believe in the power of humane curation that removes decision-making from profit-driven algorithms.
- We believe in altruism, fair distribution of network value, and the realignment of incentives between all stakeholders.
We are merely building the technology that makes the revolution possible, but we need a community of like-minded superhumans to inspire, witness, and collaborate with each other.
Our attention is valuable, not only for ourselves, but also for its inherent superpower that can build and empower a collective better web.